More recreation bonds ballot-bound as Millcreek Community Center opens

Published: Wednesday, April 11 2012 5:19 p.m. MDT

A mural made of athletic shoes covers a wall that spans the first and second floors of the new Millcreek Community Center that opened Wednesday, April 11, 2012.

Steve Fidel, Deseret News

MILLCREEK — A new community center that brings a library, recreation facility and senior center under one roof opened Wednesday while plans to let voters decide whether to spend more money on recreation are moving closer to the ballot.

The county's new facility is on the site of the old Millcreek branch library and a recreation center at 2266 E. Evergreen Ave. (3435 South). Open spaces, a cafe, wall art that includes a two-story swirl of color-coordinated athletic shoes greeted a crowd that filled common areas for Wednesday's grand opening.

Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon said combining activities in the center strengthens its role as a community collecting point. He said his in-laws could be in the senior center while his kids are in the rec center and he is in the library.

He joined sons James and Peter Jr. for some hoops in the new gym and greeted visitors.

"I want you to know I coached Junior Jazz on that floor," a man told the mayor, pointing to the old gym floor, sections of which cover several walls in the new complex.

Combining activities in the center also helped the county pool funding from different sources for the $18.5 million center, including a library bond budget, Parks and Recreation and aging bond budget and Zoo Arts and Park funds.

The Millcreek Community Center opening came the day after Draper officials decided to let voters choose whether to bond for a recreation center there. The City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to put a recreation bond proposal on the June primary election ballot.

Draper City Manager Layne Long said the proposal would be for a 20-year bond of up to $29 million. The cost to city residents works out to $7.18 per month for the owner of a $300,000 home.

Salt Lake County is also considering a recreation bond of up to $110 million — $14 a year for the owner of a $238,000 home — to bring current maintenance needs at parks and other recreation facilities across the county. A bond could also be used to pay for some new construction on unfinished segments of the Jordan River Parkway and for recreation facilities in growth areas in the southwest part of the county.

County Parks and Recreation spokesman Martin Jensen said the County Council decided against the bond a year ago and still hasn't decided how to approach the bonding proposal this year. He said the council will soon take a driving tour of county facilities and review the county's bonding plan for maintenance. If the proposal advances, voters living in Salt Lake County would be able to vote on the bond proposal in November.

That could create a double-whammy for Draper residents, since they could end up paying for both the county and a city bond. Long said having the Draper bond proposal on the June ballot and the possible county bond proposal on the November ballot should make it easier for Draper residents to decide on each proposal because they won't be hit by both of them on the same ballot.

E-mail: sfidel@desnews.com Twitter: SteveFidel

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