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Spanish Fork moves forward with considering sales tax revenue bond for rec center

By Carlene Coombs - | Feb 8, 2024

Courtesy Spanish Fork City

A rendering of the new Spanish Fork Recreation Center.

The Spanish Fork City Council voted to consider issuing a sales tax revenue bond for the under-construction recreation center during the body’s meeting Tuesday. A public hearing on the issue will be held March 19.

The resolution passed by the council was to allow for issuing a bond for up to $65 million with a preliminary statement considering a $58 million bond, though the amount is subject to change.

City Attorney Vaughn Pickell said the next step for a bond would be a public hearing, which is scheduled a few weeks away. After that, the council can make an official vote on issuing the bond.

Pickell told City Council members and Mayor Mike Mendenhall during Tuesday’s meeting that the bond would be backed by sales tax revenue and municipal energy tax, but not property taxes.

The city also presented more renderings of the recreation center showing amenities such as an outdoor pool facility with waterslides, an indoor competitive pool and indoor basketball courts.

A public comment time was available to discuss the bond on Tuesday but no comments were made. The resolution was passed unanimously by the City Council.

Property taxes in Spanish Fork were increased in 2022 to help fund the recreation center. At the time, the increase raised taxes for homeowners about $60 a year for a home valued at $460,000 and $107 for a business valued the same.

A citizen referendum to put that property tax to a vote was attempted but ultimately failed to reach the ballot due to a lack of signatures.

Spanish Fork City also approved a $50 million sewer revenue bond on Jan. 16 for a water reclamation facility also currently under construction.

That bond was made necessary due to inflation, said City Manager Seth Perrins during that City Council meeting. Mapleton is a part owner of the new water reclamation plant, with the city carrying about 20% of the obligation.

Spanish Fork has been able to secure some grant money for the facility, such as $7 million from the state’s Utah Lake Preservation Grant fund.

Spanish Fork’s new recreation center began construction last fall, with completion expected for next fall, according to the city’s website. The recreation center plans were first announced in May 2022 by Mendenhall and will be located on the corner of Main Street and Volunteer Drive near the sports park.

The new recreation center will include community and competitive swimming pools, a senior center and gym and fitness areas, including an indoor track.

Spanish Fork has been without a city pool since 2021, when the city’s outdoor water park closed as the new Spanish Fork High School began construction.

In 2015, a bond to fund a new city life center, which would have contained a recreation center, senior center and library, failed after being referred to residents for a vote.

A new library was opened for Spanish Fork residents last April, which included some city offices and City Council chambers.


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