Add it up: two swimming pools, "ka-ching"; four racquetball courts and a gymnasium, "ka-ching"; an indoor jogging track, a climbing wall, meeting rooms and a weight training area, "ka-ching, ka-ching."
Punch the total key, and you get $13 million for a 96,000-square-foot family fitness and wellness center to serve West Valley's 107,000-plus residents.Then comes the question: Are local residents willing to shell out an extra $36 a year in property taxes on a $120,000 home for the next couple of decades to help build and operate a recreation center?
City officials hope to answer that question Thursday night when they conduct a truth-in-taxation hearing in the West Valley City Hall council chambers.
The hearing, required by state law before a municipality can raise property taxes, will begin at 7 p.m.
Local residents are invited to air their views on the proposal.
The proposed center would be built at Centennial Park, 5350 W. 3100 South, and would be attached to the west wall of the park's new Acord Ice Center.
Most of the design work on the center already has been finished, so the project will go out for bid in the next few weeks if the council votes for the tax increase.
Construction would probably begin late this fall, with completion about one year away.
But there is a catch. Popping for the $36 per year - and it would be double that amount on homes worth $240,000 - won't entitle West Valley families to have free run of the new fitness center.
To offset the estimated $1.3 million a year in operating costs, local residents also will have to pay a user fee ranging from $3 to $5 per session. Family memberships will be available in the $400-per-year price range.
And non-residents will be charged even higher user fees because they're not contributing property taxes.
But city officials, who have worked for years to build consensus behind a recreation center, are banking on solid public support for the project.
A Dan Jones poll conducted earlier this year found 80 percent of the West Valley residents surveyed said they're willing to pay the $3 a month to build the center.
That poll and others also indicate a lack of recreational opportunities traditionally has forced West Valley residents to go outside the city for their workouts.
Russell Sanderson, West Valley's finance director, said the proposed increase would boost the city's share of property taxes on a $120,000 home from $126.13 a year to $162.10 - an increase of 28.5 percent.
The city's overall property tax take will go up from $5.5 million in Fiscal '98 to $7.95 million in Fiscal '99, an increase of $2.45 million or 44.4 percent.
But Sanderson said some $681,000 of that difference is accounted for by tax revenues from new growth and other factors, while the remaining $1.76 million will pay for debt service and operations.
"The only portion of the tax increase attributable to the fitness center will be the $3 a month," the finance director added.
Local residents with questions can call 963-3214 or 963-3221 for information before Thursday night's meeting.