To the editor:

I have had the opportunity to live in Utah County for a good part of my life. I have enjoyed working here and have chosen to rear my children here. Now we have the chance to give Utah County something that will continue to make it a great place to live.The April 9 bond election to build a Utah Valley Special Events Center on the campus of UVCC grants us a window of opportunity that we cannot afford to pass by. A 1 percent higher tax on prepared food will raise the funds to pay for this needed facility.

UVCC will be building a $10 million center on campus in the next two years. It will be a wonderful P.E. facility. Yet, for a passage of a $7.7 million bond, we can add to that an 8,500-seat arena that will avail itself to many sports events, high school tournaments, cultural events, church meetings, trade shows, concerts, rodeos and conventions. The center will allow us to gather as a community without having to travel long distances, and the opportunities for educational and cultural enhancement will be significant.

The center will attract tourist dollars and bring in greater revenues from sales tax and room tax. Local businesses will also take advantage of the new market. Real estate value will increase as will employment, and dollars that were usually spent in Salt Lake County will stay right here at home.

Another major benefit is that at least two-thirds of the operation and maintenance costs will be paid by the state. The other third would be paid with rental fees earned at the center.

There is currently nowhere in Utah County for businesses and groups to meet. The American Fork Tabernacle holds 2,200 and the BYU Marriott Center holds over 22,000. They're either too big or too small. Utah County companies end up traveling to Salt Lake City to hold their meetings in the Salt Palace because of a lack of suitable facilities here.

The facility will serve a student population at UVCC that is largely made up of Utah County residents. UVCC is becoming the college our children will look to for their education. As fewer and fewer Utah County students attend school at BYU, the load at UVCC will demand its consideration as a four-year institution. Without the proper facilities, this move cannot be made. This activities center will help facilitate a future move such as this.

Ed Pinegar


Citizens Committee

for a Utah Valley Special Events Center