Fairfield Ledger
http://fairfield-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1134963

Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 24, 2014

Will indoor gym pay for itself?

By Rick Robinson | Feb 27, 2014

To the editor:

I would like to know why, when a minority of people feel something is needed, it becomes a taxpayer obligation.

It seems to me with the professional and business people involved in these projects that they would just go ahead and build them and then charge a user fee to cover their costs. The reason is they know it is not a good business proposition. Even as a breakeven, it would fall short.

Everything a few want is not always good for all of us. With all of the things we’ve supposedly needed to bring businesses in (the rec center, civic center, library, etc.), we have lost more businesses than we’ve gained. Most of the people I know that worked in Fairfield have had to go out of town for jobs that pay a “living wage.”

Out in the country we have to make do. This winter alone we are left to ourselves to get to our jobs, meaning we go days without snow removal and have to take our chances just to get through our roads – roads which need so much work they have to be put on a five- or 10-year schedule. Pot holes and washboard bumps are on every inch of road when not snow covered. We make do so our taxes won’t go up but now we are asked to help with stuff we don’t need.

I would be willing to bet that if this had just been for the new pool, it would not even need another vote. The gym was only put in because they knew on its own it wouldn’t fly. The pool in itself would probably pay its own way. Can you say the same for the gym?

I see the city is already raising taxes and this is only the beginning. How many will be moaning when they start feeling the sewer repair increase and street repair bills. Out in the county we are already feeling the 150 percent increases in heating bills as most of us use propane not natural gas. Who knows when or even if they will come down?

When I look at buying or building, it should pay for itself in one way or another. The pool was needed because of the maintenance costs on the old one. Can we say the same for the gym when we have so many now in our school system? We have heated public buildings for walking (the schools and hospital) and we have had private fitness businesses. Some didn’t make it because of the publically funded rec center.

I am personally tired of the empty promises: new business draw, uses for things that can never happen, i.e. livestock shows at the civic center, bigger gyms for things like prom, a 1 percent option sales tax to phase our the PPEL etc. It’s time to wake up and do the things that are needed to keep what we have and not wanted with a promise it will eventually be a big plus later. My own taxes have gone up 60 percent in the last five or six years with no additions or modifications to my property and I’m not looking forward to another because of a gym. Even with a no vote you can bet they will still ask the county for money as they did with the civic center just go get their grants.

 

– Rick Robinson, Fairfield

 

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