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election 2017

City Supports Salina Fieldhouse Project

Todd Pittenger - October 27, 2014 7:08 pm

Salina City Commissioners Monday afternoon voted to support a community fieldhouse type recreation center.

Fieldhouse Salina would be more than simply a recreation center. Rather, it would be a multi-use facility that would house basketball courts, volleyball courts, and indoor turf areas. The proposed $9 million facility, which has the support of the Salina Recreation Commission, would be built in the area of 5th and Iron, the location of the former Phoenix apartments.

Supporters say that the fieldhouse is necessary because there simply is not enough indoor facility room for all of the teams in Salina. Recreation commission basketball and volleyball leagues are at the verge of being capped, meaning that there can be no more teams or participants. Space at USD 305 facilities and at KSU Salina is utilized, but is becoming scarce. The addition of 7th grade sports is a contributing factor.

The fieldhouse would also be utilized for tournaments, and special events, bringing potentially thousands of people to Salina each year.

A privately funded feasibility study indicated that the facility could generate up to $10 million a year in Salina. The study also indicated that within three years the facility could be at 95 percent cost recovery.

Fieldhouse Salina has the support of multiple organizations in the community, including the Salina Family YMCA. The Y and the fieldhouse would compliment one another, offering programs that don’t compete with one another.

Funding for the $9 million fieldhouse would be through a public / private partnership. Supporters have already raised about $2 million, and are still fund raising. They city would contribute up to $4.5 million as well. Supporters say that more money is also available, in the form of $2 million in new market tax credits and a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant. That money is not guaranteed, though.

Several other successful public / private projects were brought up during the discussion, including Dean Evans Stadium, the First Tee program, and the Salina Soccer Complex.

The action on Monday gives approval for staff to begin formal conversations with the property owner and private investment group to address property acquisition and creation of a project development agreement. The goal is for the fieldhouse to be in operation by mid-2017.

Julian Webb

October 28, 2014 at 9:28 am

Really talk about the county commissioners how about the city commissioners. They spend 8 million on the bi-center in order to get good entertainment bit still have not seen any. The school district hit us up for millions the sheriff wants 40 plus million for a jail now this. The guy behind all of this was supposed to do this himself what happened to that? NY the way commissioners why has not the Greeley ave bridge been repaired?

Thomas Heiter

October 28, 2014 at 4:43 pm

$2 million in new market tax credits? Don’t you mean $2 million in taxes that will not be spent on things this city needs? I think this commision really needs to take a look at the difference between wants and needs. Sure, we all WANT things like this, but we NEED so many other more important things done in and for this community. As for the projected income, $10 million a year sounds great but how does that translate into tax revenue? I am sure it falls short of $10 million. I have noticed this city has a history of making things sound better than they really are in order to confuse the casual uninformed voter. Just look at the wording of the flouride issue. Purposely written to be confusing to get the desired result.

Julian Webb

October 29, 2014 at 7:19 am

Well if you notice the story mentions the river deal again which we voters said NO to. I feel when the people speak then those trying to push something through with tax payer money should be escorted to the city limits. Everyone of these city commissioners need to be replaced as all they have done is spend money on projects not needed. They have enjoyed the attack on the county commissioners as it has provided a Hugh smoke screen for them to hide behind while wasting our tax monies. Its time to put each one of them under the microscope and hold them accountable.

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