The recent town hall meeting on recreation confirmed what most parents of young children already believed — the city needs more recreation fields. There just aren’t enough fields to provide for football, softball, baseball and soccer activities scheduled between the city’s recreation department and its school system.
There are other recreation needs as well — renovated rest rooms, updated equipment, a new recreation center come to mind – but the essential need right now is for more fields.
New recreation director Scott Rodgers is working hard to find space for existing and proposed programs, the city school system is pitching in, and a couple of churches have offered space on their campuses. But the basic need for more fields is inescapable.
New fields are expensive, and there is no money available in this tight economy for building them, short of a bond referendum.
The question to be resolved is whether that need is perceived by voters as critical enough to warrant a bond referendum, passage of which would increase property taxes for the duration of the bonds. Unless the city finds a heretofore untapped source of new revenue, that’s a discussion that must take place. New rec facilities won’t be cheap. Are the taxpayers willing to pay for them? If not, further discussion of the need becomes a moot point.