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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Shoot for the moon

Posted Wednesday, December 22, 2010, at 8:41 AM

The January meeting of the Western Elmore County Recreation District could be the most important one it has held in its ten-year history.

At that time, the board must decide if it will proceed with a capital campaign to try and raise the extra funds it will need to build the community center -- with a pool -- that the Community Leadership Development Committee has recommended.

Such a campaign won't be easy, and the WECRD board will clearly need a solid commitment from the Treasure Valley YMCA that it would be willing to operate such a facility if it is built. Y officials were frustratingly vague on that point during the CLDC wrap-up meeting last week.

A large majority of the community has always supported the basic vision of the WECRD -- to build a community facility with an indoor pool. But the question, and much of the opposition to the district's very existence, has always been whether or not we could afford it.

That's why the CLDC's work has been so valuable. Rather than vague assumptions -- on both sides -- the CLDC has developed the hard numbers needed for a reasoned and logical debate. Perhaps even more importantly, the CLDC had tried to develop a plan that would create a self-sustaining facility, one in which the need for the rec district to be involved at all -- or even exist -- would not be necessary.

It's a good idea, and a well-researched business model, but in the end it all revolves around the ability of this community to raise $900,000 in private donations to launch the project, and $4.5 million to complete it.

Far too much time, effort and money have been spent on developing the CLDC's recommendation to quit now. It seems reasonable for the WECRD board to try the capital campaign.

If it works, great. We get the facility we wanted. In this economy, raising that kind of money will be hard, but not completely impossible.

If it doesn't work, then we've learned that we're just not a big enough community yet to be able to afford such a facility, and the rec district should pack its bags and dissolve, fading into the sunset as a failed and costly -- though well intentioned -- experiment.

But either way, we won't know until we try. We've come too far to give up now. The rec district needs to make one final effort to make this work, and its goal should be the full $4.5 million. There are financial virtues to the phased approach the Y has suggested, but in the current political climate, we can't see dragging this process out over the next decade and a half. The public's patience has worn thin enough.

We believe the most politically realistic approach, even though it is financially much more difficult to achieve, is to shoot for the moon now and try and raise, within the next three years, the full $4.5 million.

You won't know if it will work until you try, but it's a goal worth trying.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I predict there will be another study ordered to see if the commmunity will support this joke any longer. That is about all the WECRD and CLDC have done in my opinion. Maybe if both had not ordered so many studies in the past, the community would not have to raise $900,000.

-- Posted by Old guy on Wed, Dec 22, 2010, at 8:48 AM

Kelly, you left a few things out in your story like the projected tax hikes...14 years before any pools will be built, etc. You were at the meeting, why leave out so many important facts?

How about how Jana asked you to paint a positive picture and not tell the public the timeline for this joke?

We already did this study and it is called the Shaw Snow Report. It was VERY expensive. The "rich" of this community were asked if they would give and how much. It even listed pages and pages of concerns these people had. Why spend another $20-60,000 to find out what we already know? It is pretty much the same group of "rich" people in a worse economy than what was noted in the Shaw Snow Report. I cannot believe that you have the nerve to back these IDIOTS/FOOLS.

You have a duty to the people of this community to report the facts---ALL of the facts. This is a great disservice to this community. Perhaps review your data on how many people in Elmore County have jobs and can afford to pay higher taxes for NOTHING. Shoot for the moon? Where is your head?

Merry Christmas.

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Wed, Dec 22, 2010, at 2:07 PM

Where does the CLDC/WECRD/YMCA expect the money to come from?

Elmore County wages are consistently $2,500 lower than state averages, and $10,000 under national averages over the last decade.

Census data has Idaho's growth over the last decade slower than the previous decade by 7.5%.

Population estimates for Mountain home increased by less than 1,000 people from 2000-2009 -- County wide down about 300 people.

Emergency Unemployment Compensation for Elmore County in 2009: 804 cases totaling $223,031.35.

Emergency Unemployment Compensation for Elmore County in 2009: 10,745 cases totaling $2,894,704.66.

There's so much more reality out there it's overwhelming. These are just a few quick facts from government agencies. I didn't even want to get started on the increasing tax burden. Check it out for yourself - look at your decreasing disposable income, compare it to the world around you and figure it out.

-- Posted by VicVega on Wed, Dec 22, 2010, at 4:06 PM

With all due respect....Mountain Home is too small to support this for long term. The evidence is there already.

-- Posted by Mtn.Homer on Wed, Dec 22, 2010, at 4:43 PM

Mountain Home cannot afford this, this needs to stop, stop taxing us anymore for this fiasco and put the monies towards Recreation already up and running in town towards new buildings, equipment etc. for recreation NOW, not 15 years from now!

-- Posted by Moanah on Wed, Dec 22, 2010, at 5:33 PM

Personaly, the cost of a ball and a stick is about all I'm willing to donate for a recreational facility. Perhaps we should ask the Saudis to build a pool in the desert for us...I think we've already paid for one with our defense dollars and American blood.

-- Posted by junkyard dog on Wed, Dec 22, 2010, at 6:50 PM


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