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No splash pad for South Davis rec center

SHARE No splash pad for South Davis rec center

BOUNTIFUL — For now, the South Davis Recreation Center will not include an outdoor "leisure pool," or splash pad.

In a unanimous decision, the Recreation Center Board voted Monday to temporarily cut the pool from plans, saving the over-budget project at least $800,000. Additional cuts totaling $201,203 were made to the budget for furniture, fixtures and equipment.

The cuts bring the total budget for the center to about $17.5 million. Last August, voters in five South Davis cities approved an $18 million bond to build the center.

"I think we made a very good decision," said Paul Rowland, Bountiful city engineer. "They (residents) should know that they will have the premier recreation center in Utah and in the western United States."

While the splash pad won't be built without an additional subsidy — or other donation — board members said they were "optimistic" that cuts to the furniture, fixtures and equipment budget would not be permanent. The center has a $525,000 contingency budget that will not likely be needed, said Rowland.

Money in that budget could be easily shifted to pay for items in the furnishings budget, according to Bountiful City Manager Tom Hardy.

Ron Mortensen, co-founder of the Davis County watchdog group CitizensForTaxFairness.

org, said he was disappointed with the decision, made less than an hour into Monday's meeting. By cutting the splash pad, board members opened the door for another tax hike, he said.

"I can see them in a year saying, 'We can't have that empty (pool) pad out here.' " Mortensen said. Instead, cuts should have been made to racquetball courts or the overall size of the center, said Hugh Williams, co-founder of CitizensForTaxFairness.org.

The outdoor splash pad was planned to be one of the center's most profitable amenities, according to Williams.

On Tuesday, Aug. 16, members of the South Davis Recreation Center Board will meet again to officially sign a change order for the center's contractor. The meeting will be at the Bountiful City Offices, 790 S. 100 East. The public is invited to attend.

E-mail: nwarburton@desnews.com