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BOUNTIFUL GIVES OVAL PLAN ICY RECEPTION

Not just "no," but "NO!"

The city wants nothing to do with the idea of building an Olympic speed-skating oval on top of the Bountiful Recreation Center. Or, for that matter, anywhere else in the city."They must think I'm crazy," said Councilman Harold Shafter, referring to the Utah Sports Authority.

The authority, which oversees construction of Utah's Olympic venues, suggested last week the city might want to send a letter indicating its interest in having the oval, said Paul Rowland, assistant city manager.

The oval would be built for the 2002 Olympic Games, though Utah has not been awarded the competition.

Council members voted 4-1 Wednesday not to send a letter.

"I can't think of anything that makes less economic sense for the city than this," said Councilwoman Barbara Holt.

All but Councilman Les Foy agreed.

Foy said it wouldn't hurt to send a letter of interest. "We have experience in the (ice rink) area. This facility would continue to put Bountiful on the map," he said.

The authority proposes to build the $14 million oval rink in two phases. In the first, workers would build the 400-meter oval and two ice sheets but leave the three uncovered. That construction must be finished by the fall of 1994. Workers would then construct a building surrounding the oval and sheets before 2002.

The facility would seat 5,000 spectators and cover 5.2 acres. Architects for the authority designed it to replace the city's recreation center, home of a 1,500-seat rink built in 1974.

"We'd have to tear up the rec-reation center, pool and parking lots," Rowland said.

Olympic organizers in 1989 turned down Bountiful's idea to expand its ice rink for the 1998 Games, which were eventually awarded to Nagano, Japan.

"I have a hard time even thinking about (sending a letter of interest) after they turned us down," Shafter said.