Council Weighs Options for $50 Million Youth Rec Center
Amsterdam, NY (January 24, 2014) — The Common Council will be reviewing a proposal to fund construction and management of a $50 million recreational center featuring stadium quality fields for basketball, soccer and lacrosse. The Council views the facilities as vital and essential to the recreational opportunities for the city’s youth.
Under terms of the proposal, the city would create a Youth Recreational Commission (YRC) which would provide oversight to the operations of the rec center. Most importantly, the rec center would cost city taxpayers absolutely nothing as the $50 million debt bond would be repaid by the YRC through its memberships.
While previous Councils have resisted efforts to fund recreational programs given the perceived cost to taxpayers, the current Council has embraced the importance of recreation to the community, especially to kids and families. The Council has wholeheartedly embraced the sentiment voiced at last week’s Council meeting: “Listen, when you’re going to start charging people for recreation, we’re not doing the right thing. That golf is recreation and I don’t care what anyone says.”
Local high school student, Mark Fauxname, nicely summed up the sentiment of many kids learning of the rec center, “This rec center is really epic. We’ll finally have a nice place to play sports and for kids to hang out. And my parents like the fact that it will cost them nothing on their taxes. It’s about time people in this city did something for us kids. I can’t wait to play on a really nice soccer field.”
The Council is weighing a number of sites, many of which require large-scale demolition of homes, to house the rec center. The Council views the rec center as a win-win for tax payers as the rec center and the demolition will cost taxpayers absolutely nothing.