Letter to the Editor

Rally behind rec center plan

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Dear editor,

When I agreed to become a director for the Western Elmore County Recreation District I took the responsibility very seriously and analyzed all documents available. As I analyzed the budget, the project history and the projections for the building, I had a strong instinct and impression that this project needed to move forward soon.

As the annual budget time for the Western County Recreation District arrived, I analyzed the numbers again. The budget process caused me to pause and really look at the numbers over and over. I studied the hard numbers directly from the Western Elmore County Recreation Treasurer, Judy Erwin.

I looked at the numbers personally, not someone's interpretation of them or guessing... the real numbers. I looked at the bank account balances, at the HUD grant monies, the deposits, the expenditures... I went through it line by line. I then compared the projected costs of the building with the numbers in our accounts and the projected costs of running the building. I looked at the costs without the equipment and internal furniture and

I concluded that taxpayers of the Western Elmore County Recreation District had enough existing funds in their accounts to build the building. The long awaited time had arrived. It was time to put these tax dollars to use!

Some other reasons for going to bid now rather than later are as follows:

* Getting more accurate costs for the construction project. The construction climate has changed significantly in the last 18 months in the Treasure Valley. These costs may significantly impact our next steps.

* Getting the bids will allow any value engineering process to get rolling. This is a necessary piece of the timeline, regardless of whether the funds are already raised.

* Being able to start construction on the project prior to winter's onset, which will allow the building to be completed in late 2016.

* Allowing our potential donors to see that the project has started. We have many donors who have said that they will commit once they see some action on the site. Although we had planned to only go to bid once the $850,000 capital campaign was complete, we realized that those dollars are not all needed for construction.

We will, however, need to raise those dollars in order to fully furnish the building and start operation.

We are asking the community to rally behind us to get this building up and built! It's an exciting time Mountain Home! Respectively submitted,

-- Rachelle Ruffing, Western Elmore County Recreation District