When I first discovered the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District I was impressed with the facilities considering Seaside has so few full-time residents.

I have been gardening in the “sunny pool garden” for the past two years. While there I watched while an extensive wheelchair ramp was built, a full-size basketball court reconstructed, and the playground for the youth center refurbished. I suspect these were not inexpensive projects.

Now the SEPRD wants to tear all that out (including the community garden) and build a walking track and 2 indoor courts for $20 million!

At the informational meeting on Sept. 17 I learned that the new facility was in the preliminary planning stages. Surveys revealed that the respondents desired, in order (1) an indoor walking track and (2) an indoor basketball court. When asked about property lines, it was stated that city, school district and SEPRD lines are somewhat intertwined in the area of the expansion. I also toured the exsisting workout rooms and found them small but adequate. The middle school just next door to the SEPRD property will soon be vacated. The fate of that property is now an unknown. This should be a consideration when planning this project.

I feel that it is premature to request $20 for this project. Remember that a larger facility will cost considerably more for operations. Improvements have recently been made so let’s get some use out of those first! Now is not the time to ask the taxpayers to pay for this project. Taxes are already too high. Please vote no.

Diane Wells

Seaside

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