My Turn: Survey doesn’t back community center | SierraSun.com
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My Turn: Survey doesn’t back community center

Dennis Dickinson

It is the intention of the Truckee Donner Recreation & Park District to build a 75,000-square-foot community center costing $35 million to $40 million at the Commercial Triangle site on Highway 89 and Interstate 80.The plan is build an $8 million gym starting in spring of 2006 and then asks the taxpayer to cough up the rest to finish the project in November 2007.Peter Werbel, the district’s board chairman, is quoted as saying that, “Based on studies that have been done, we [Park & Rec board] think we can get the public to get excited enough to dig into their wallets and give $30 or $50 bucks a year. So far, we have not had much negative feedback.”I have personally reviewed the telephone survey done by True North Research and SCI in late 2004. The survey asked: “Should the District proceed with plans to fund a new Community Center through a local measure at this time?” The conclusion of this survey was (quoted from the report): “Based on the aforementioned findings, as well as the realization that any organized opposition would erode support for the measure below that recorded in this study for a bond or assessment, True North and SCI do not recommend that the district proceed with plans to place a revenue measure before voters or property owners at this time.”Forty-seven percent of the respondents stated that they would oppose the bond measure, with a 10 percent unsure or unwilling to share their choice. This is 24 percent below the two-thirds threshold needed to pass a special tax in California.I am totally against building a community center that will accommodate more than 1,000 people 7,000 feet from the end of Truckee Tahoe Airport’s major departing runway. Twenty-two persons, including one family of four and nine members of a second family, were killed in Sacramento when a jet aircraft slammed into a Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor. At least 100 people were in that building at the time of the accident.Should this community take that kind of chance because the land is free?I invite the voter to read the True North Research and SCI survey found at the TDRPD office. I invite the voter to give the Truckee Donner Recreation & Park District your feedback.Dennis Dickinson is a Truckee resident.


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