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A recreation center in Bayfield? Let's get real - Comments (0)
Melanie Brubaker Mazur - 6/12/2009
There’s been some talk lately about Bayfield needing a recreation center.
Sure, one would be nice, but paying for it would be a nightmare.
Let’s run through some things the town needs to take care of first — a Mill Street that’s literally falling apart, a lot of other town streets that aren’t in much better shape, some very-large liabilities for some screwed-up subdivisions streets and infrastructure that town inspectors apparently didn’t inspect very well, and that’s just looking at infrastructure needs.
Paying off Town Hall alone will take another eight years. And don’t forget an intersection on U.S. 160 on the east end of town – that’s a $1 million-plus project. And fixing up our parks – how about finally being able to use that second ballfield in Joe Stephenson Park?
And town trustees are rightfully looking at some pretty lean years coming up for sales taxes, which have never been particularly strong in Bayfield anyway.
So that’s the bad news.
Adding to this economic mess with a big capital project right now wouldn’t just be financially imprudent, it would be stupid.
As the mom of two little kids, yes, it would be great to have some more options for them to go expend some energy. But we have school gyms and our beloved old town gym. I think renovating that is a sensible goal. I can drive my kids pretty quickly to the SunUte Community Center for swim lessons.
A pool in Bayfield would be nice, but maintenance costs and paying for lifeguards are astronomical.
IF a big grocery chain builds in Bayfield, which I doubt will ever happen, and IF sales tax revenues start going up, and WHEN Town Hall is paid off, future town boards could consider such a project.
Right now, it’s fiscally irresponsible and a waste of time.