The Richfield City Council adopted a resolution stating its intent to pursue the construction of a community development center, which would include a swimming pool.

“We’ve fought this for eight years,” said Connie Nielsen, council member, during the meeting July 30. “It seems to me if we are going to try to do it, let’s do it.”

Nielsen said if a partnership between the county, the college and city for the project can’t be cemented, the city should consider pursuing at least an outdoor pool on its own. 

The vision of the center is to create something that can both enhance the life of residents of the region, as well as help be a draw for people to come to Richfield and Sevier County, said Mayor David Ogden.  The center would replace the city swimming pool. The facility is envisioned as a way to improve the region’s offerings to attract events, enhance the college campus and draw more business to the area to enhance employment opportunities, Ogden said.

The proposal would result in the city seeking between $7 and $8 million from the Utah Permanent Community Impact Fund Board, with 50 percent as a grant according to the resolution. The intent is to partner with both Snow College, which is leasing land the facility will be located on for $1 a year, and Sevier County to create a multi-faceted recreation facility with indoor and outdoor pools, basketball courts, a walking track, instructional rooms and possibly gym equipment.

Funding for the facility’s operation and maintenance would come largely from the city, which would roll over its current pool’s operating budget of approximately $250,000 a year into the new facility. 

The college and county would also provide approximately $125,000 of operation funds each year, according to the resolution.

Bryan Burrows, council member, said while he supports the concept, he feels there is some reticence among the proposed partners to participate in the project. 

The county is due to pay off its debt on the Sevier Valley Center in the next year. The proposal would have a bond election to essentially use a portion of the money currently being paid for the SVC to be used for the community center.

A public hearing to discuss the proposal is set for Tuesday, Aug. 13, at 7 p.m., at the Richfield City Office Building, 75 East Center.

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