Letter: Field of dreams

Posted 4/19/22

I was astounded to learn that EPRD board member Don Rosenthal proposed that EPRD build a 50,000-square-foot building, called a MURF, primarily to house indoor practice fields for turf sports and secondarily for courts, offices, a running track and concession stands.

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Letter: Field of dreams

Posted

I was astounded to learn that EPRD board member Don Rosenthal proposed that EPRD build a 50,000-square-foot building, called a MURF, primarily to house indoor practice fields for turf sports and secondarily for courts, offices, a running track and concession stands. He stated that the building would most likely be at Buchanan Park and cost about $26 million — to be funded by taxpayers through the extension of a current bond set to expire in 2025 and issuing another bond in May 2023. Mr. Rosenthal cited that soccer players, such as his grandchildren, are inconvenienced by having to travel down the hill to practice when the weather is inclement in Evergreen. He also said that there is little need to do a formal study of this proposal because the need is so apparent, and there is so much support for it. He said that such a project would generate substantial revenue and hence, falls under the category “build it and they will come.” Really? I would not expect these statements from someone who holds a Ph.D. in economics and makes a living consulting on risk management. I know of many EPRD residents who have no interest in turf sports, are unwilling or unable to pay the additional property taxes or are senior citizens living on fixed budgets. To me, this proposal is a want, not a need. EPRD has many higher-priority needs, such as bringing a new director on board, negotiating a contract with Denver on property surrounding Evergreen Lake, completing the Evergreen Lake trail, and performing long-needed improvements to the pool at Wulf. Let the community decide in ample time whether a MURF is even wanted, let alone financially viable. And proposing a bond issue during special district elections in May is financially irresponsible because of low voter turnout — often just a few hundred voters. Any bond issue should be put forth during general elections so that neither adamant supporters nor opponents can unduly influence the outcome. Let’s not rush forward blindly and risk creating a field of dreams.

Ron Belak, Evergreen

 

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