During a meeting Monday afternoon, the Sevier County Commission opted not to take action on a proposal that would have put a bond election on November’s ballot for a community development center.
“The information available was not adequate for us to discuss with the voters,” said Commissioner Ralph Brown. “Our questions were not answered.”
Brown said he is worried about how the county would pay for its portion of the building and the ongoing maintenance of the facility.
“We don’t know exactly what we’re building yet,” Brown said. He said the commission felt constrained by the time frame of getting the proposal on November’s ballot.
“We felt rushed and really wanted to do our due diligence,” Brown said.
Brown said the county also doesn’t want to take the lead in the project, leaving that role to Richfield.
“We still feel it’s a great project and we want to support it,” Brown said.
Monday’s decision will delay any bond election on the county level until at least June 2020.
“We’ve given all the information we can,” said Richfield Mayor David Ogden. He said he is concerned the decision to delay putting the bond issue to a vote may put the future of the project in jeopardy.
“Right now it looks like the city will be on its own,” Ogden said.
The proposal to build a community development center was partially formulated around a need to replace Richfield’s pool. Rather than just replace what the city currently has, or downgrade, the proposal was to build a regional center that would incorporate an aquatics center, gymnasium, classrooms and an indoor walking track.
The goal was to partner with Sevier County and Snow College. Snow College has already pledged the property needed for the center and under the terms of the proposal would provide $125,000 a year for operation and maintenance.
The county would also provide $125,000 in o and m funds, with the city providing $250,000.
Construction costs would be split between Richfield City, Sevier County, mineral lease funds grants, legislative appropriation and private donations.
According to a pro forma report compiled on the proposal, the construction cost would not result in a tax increase, as the county’s obligation on the Sevier Valley Center is being retired next year, as is a bond in Richfield City for a golf course expansion.