Voters reject Lehi parks bond
With a vote of 9,949 (60.7 percent) to 6,442 (39.3 percent) on Nov. 8, voters declined to support the bond city officials say was needed to "preserve our quality of life, maintain our city's small-town feel and support desired sports programming."
"The city should once again be denied its desire to tax and spend and encouraged to find a better way to fund what residents want. Secure corporate sponsorships. Solicit donations. Coordinate fundraisers. Offer a more modest proposal at a lower cost. There are many options besides siphoning a staggering $50 million from Lehi residents. Many Lehi families are struggling financially and cannot bear this additional tax burden," resident Conner Boyak, who was opposed to the bond, wrote in the voter information pamphlet sent to residents. "More parks would be a wonderful thing for Lehi — few disagree with this. But that does not mean that this bond is a good idea. Just like the irresponsible bond city officials proposed last year, this one should also be denied. They — and we — can do better."
Despite two open houses, public hearings, an aggressive marketing campaign and a website dedicated to the proposal (letsplaylehi.com), in the end voters did not support the plan.
"The Lehi City Council made the decision to let Lehi residents decide whether or not to invest in parks and open space for our future. The residents have made their decision. Regardless of the outcome, I am pleased to see community engagement on such an important issue," Mayor Bert Wilson said. "The fact remains that our community continues to grow at a rapid pace and there is an immediate need for parks, trails and open space. While we may not be able to complete the proposed projects at the rate that we had hoped, we will continue to work hard to provide great opportunities for our residents to get out and play."
Projects that would have been funded with the $50 million included Peck Park ($8 million) and another new park, Rhodes-Mellor Park ($21 million); land purchases for future parks ($11 million); trail improvements ($3 million); and capital improvements at more than 26 city and neighborhood parks.
Even if the bond had passed, city staff members said the $8 million planned for Peck Park would only have been enough to finish half the park.
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