A recent survey shows that there are more Utah County residents who haven't heard about next week's bond election for a special events center than there are those who favor the proposal.
A Dan Jones and Associates public opinion poll indicated that 57 percent of the 400 respondents were unaware of the special election scheduled for April 9. The survey conducted last week also shows that 48 percent somewhat or strongly favor the county's bonding for $7.7 million to build an events center at Utah Valley Community College in Orem. Geneva Steel paid for the survey.Should voters approve the bond, the college would combine the money with $10 million from the state to build a facility that would also contain a physical education center. The Utah County Commission adopted a resolution declaring it will pay off the bonds by imposing a 1 percent tax on prepared foods sold at county eating establishments.
Ed Pinegar, chairman of the Utah Valley Activities Center Citizens Committee, said he's pleased to see support for the project. "I am concerned, however, that so many are undecided about the election and 57 percent have never even heard it was coming up," he said.
According to the poll, 20 percent haven't decided which way to vote. Another 32 percent somewhat or strongly oppose the proposal.
"It think it's very clear from the results that this issue is far from settled," saidUVCC President Kerry Romesburg. "It was surprising how many people didn't know about it."
Pinegar attributed the public's lack of awareness to people not reading newspapers and the fact that it is an off-year election.
Proponents of the events center proposal have six days to get the word out.
Pinegar said the citizens committee is planning several newspaper ads in the next few days. The issue will also be discussed on local radio programs. He and Romesburg have also been on the civic group lecture circuit the past few weeks pitching the benefits of the events center.
The college has tried to leave the promoting of the passage of the election to the citizens group, Romesburg said.
"I don't want the public to think this project is a UVCC project because it isn't. This really is a county project," he said.
Romesburg said he's "encouraged" by the support indicated in the survey.
Said Pinegar, "I don't think it should have any trouble passing."
The facility would include a 8,500-seat arena, basketball and raquetball courts, weight rooms, classrooms, aerobics and dance studios, conference rooms and an exhibit hall. It is to be used for various college and community events.
Special events poll
Aware of the election?
Yes 43 %
No 67 %
Favor or oppose the bond?
Somewhat favor 31%
Strongly favor 17%
Somewhat oppose 16%
Strongly oppose 16%> Undecided 20%