Fairfield Ledger
http://fairfield-ia.villagesoup.com/p/918567

Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 22, 2014

Pool, gym proposal to ‘benefit people of all social classes’

By Dan Breen | Nov 01, 2012

To the editor:

I am a member of the city’s recreation task force. I’ve worked with kids in Fairfield since 1971 and I still do. I’ve raised my children here (twice!). I understand the evolving recreational needs of our community. I’d like to speak up for the children who now need our help.

The gym and pool proposal is designated to benefit people of all ages and social classes. The economic development case is compelling. Our schools will directly benefit. We’ve communicated the need for these facilities through the newspaper, radio, public forum, service and school groups, and informal discussions.

The short explanation of need is in our own history. We have had an outdoor pool for generations and we still have families requiring a pool. The gymnasium needs have been growing since the 1960s, which was the last time we built a new public gymnasium. Since that time we’ve added girls sports (including basketball, volleyball, soccer, and softball); 7th grade sports, dozens of youth programs and teams, senior walking needs, dance and drill, indoor archery, adult leagues, and on and on. Many potential programs never get started. Nearly every community of our size has built new gymnasiums through the school systems, YMCAs or recreational departments. We have not.

To move forward, we have to win the vote. The property tax payer is being asked to approve a 3 million dollar bond on a $10 million proposal. A tremendous amount of work and personal generosity will be necessary to get this done. It won’t be easy but the tax payer will never again have the opportunity to do so much for the community for so small a price. For a $100,000 home, the cost would be $39 a year.

A “no” vote will kill the proposal. There will be no pool or gymnasium built in the foreseeable future. Our potential donors will withdraw. Help from the county and potential grants will no longer be possible.

The task force has worked hard to cut costs from the first “estimate” of $16 million. We’ve fully considered the operational costs and have worked diligently to get this proposal to the public. The kids need this now and I want to personally ask for your help. Please vote “yes” on the pool and gym proposal on Nov. 6.

 

— Dan Breen, Fairfield

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