Pollster Dan Jones told City Council members Thursday night a recent survey of West Valley residents indicates a strong mandate for the city to build a proposed $10 million recreation center.

Jones also said 80 percent of the people who responded to his poll in March indicated they are likely to use the center and would be willing to ante up $2 to $3 a month in taxes for recreation.The survey also found 94 percent of the respondents said they consider recreation "very" (67 percent) or "somewhat" (27 percent) important in their lives.

"You've got a mandate there," said Jones, noting the supportive figures were unusually high for a municipal public opinion poll.

The city has reason "to be very optimistic" about its direction, the pollster added.

The telephone survey, which reached 420 West Valley households, has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent.

Those findings were welcomed by the council, which has been working for months on plans to build a family recreation and wellness center at Centennial Park, adjacent to the new Acord Ice Center.

City officials hope to put together a funding package for the facility this summer and begin construction by late fall.

Jones said the survey found that while 75 percent of local residents were satisfied or very satisfied with existing local recreation opportunies, 47 percent also indicated more such opportunities are needed.

Other poll findings included:

- Among families, the recreational activities with the highest level of participation are running, walking, mountain biking, swimming and diving, basketball and ice skating and hockey.

- Forty-seven percent of the people polled said they leave West Valley City to use other recreational facilities.

- An impressive 93 percent indicated they think a family recreation center would "definitely" (71 percent) or "probably" (22 percent) be a benefit to the community.

- Among families interested in "adult programs," 60 percent indicated they would be most interested in exercise or aerobics classes. On the other hand, the families said they would be least interested in tennis programs.