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Council approves Ogden rec center

Variable-rate bonds to pay for the $18.5 million city complex

OGDEN (AP) — The City Council has approved borrowing to help pay for construction of an $18.5 million high-adventure recreation center at a downtown mall site.

The council took the action this week after listening for three hours to supporters and opponents who overflowed the 315-capacity council chambers.

Dozens voiced their opinions but their comments did not change the anticipated 5-2 approval.

Council members Amy Wicks and Jesse Garcia cast the dissenting votes.

"It is an exciting moment for Ogden," Mayor Matthew Godfrey said afterward. "Even though we figured it would get passed, there was a huge relief as the final vote was taken."

"I'm really relieved; I can't wait for the ground breaking," recreation center supporter Dustin Chapman said moments later outside the chambers.

Center opponent Mitch Moyes said he hopes the center is a success.

"I'm not going to pray that it fails," Moyes said. "But it's unfortunate that the taxpayers of Ogden are going to be paying for that for the next 25 years."

The recreation center would be paid for using $8.9 million in 25-year, variable-interest rate bonds, $7.3 million in 20-year, variable-interest rate bonds, a $2 million federal Section 8 loan and $295,000 in tax-increment funds from 2004.

The $8.9 million would be repaid using lease revenue from Gold's Gym and Fat Cats, but it would be secured using lease revenue from Business Depot Ogden. The $7.3 million and the $2 million loan would be repaid using tax-increment funds from 10 other redevelopment areas in the city.

In addition to financing for the center, the council approved refinancing of about $22 million in other debt.