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Council to consider community center study
City leaders are exploring the idea of building a community recreation center in Grove City.
At the Nov. 19 meeting, Grove City Council is scheduled to vote on an ordinance to set aside $40,000 for a community center feasibility study. This measure stems from the outcome of the 2011 parks and recreation comprehensive plan survey. Community members who participated in the survey said Grove City needs its own community recreation center. The city does not operate any type of community center.
Kim Conrad, Grove City Parks and Recreation director, said she envisions a recreation center with indoor space for youth and adult athletics. She said it would be a place with a fitness center and space for community events.
“A community center has been one of the top five things that residents want in the area,” said Conrad.
She said residents have told her they would like an additional aquatics facility in the Grove City, one that caters to adults. The Big Splash is city operated, but Conrad said many adults feel it is more of a swim area for children. She said adult residents want an aquatics area where they can lane swim or use a diving board.
Council president Ted Berry said a community recreation center would be helpful to economic development.
“If you want to attract high-end companies and its employees, you need to offer services,” said Berry. “You have to have state-of-the-art amenities.”
Earlier this year, the city’s development department conducted a recreation center analysis. City Administrator Chuck Boso said the development department study analyzed what other central Ohio communities had in the way of a recreation center. He said department officials looked at existing conditions, population and cost.
According to city documents, the feasibility study would include a scope of activity, demographics, market needs, location and operational funding sources, including return on investment.
Boso said a community recreation center would cost approximately $15 million to $20 million. He said the city would need property and a new revenue source.
“New resources would need to be garnished,” said Boso.
Berry said the feasibility study would determine a cost. He also said the city could collect more taxes without putting an issue on the ballot.
According to a city resolution, voters have approved a 10-mill tax levy limitation, though the city only collects 3.5-mills.
“There will be plenty of public involvement,” said Berry. “This (feasibility) study will tell us what the people want.”
City council has already had the first reading of the measure to approve funding for a feasibility study. The second reading and public hearing is set for Nov. 19.
Conrad said if council OKs the study, MS Consultants, Inc. would begin work immediately. She said it would likely be early spring before the engineers and planners would come back to council with the results of the feasibility study.
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