I will always vote for programs that provide for the greater good of all of the citizens of our community as long as they are well thought out and needed. However, I believe the Healthy Life Center (HLC) that we will be voting on Sept. 10th is neither of those.
We have fitness facilities galore in Ames to meet the fitness needs of our citizens. These would include private sector (18 different facilities) and ISU fitness facilities (Lied, State Gym, Beyer Pool, Forker pool). Ames is recognized nearly every year for being a great place to live. Examples: Top Five Small Metro Areas for Retirees to Age Successfully 2018 (Investopedia), Top Five Small Metro Areas for Successful Aging 2017 (NCOA), Best Places to Live 2016 (Money magazine) and number three on Healthiest Cities in America 2016 (24/7 Wall Street). The list is almost endless. Would Ames receive these accolades if we were not meeting fitness needs? I think not.
I believe the HLC is an overreach with the cafe, the kitchen to teach nutrition and the duplication of fitness facilities I cited above. And it is not free. 59 percent ($29 million) of the cost to build the HLC will be paid by Ames citizens via this bond referendum. Besides the increase in property taxes for homeowners, an increase will also be realized by rental properties (and businesses) which means if you’re a renter, be prepared for rent increases. There will also be admission fees to utilize the facilities. Many I’ve spoken with believe there will be no admission fees. Wrong!
The HLC is projected to run at a deficit of over $400,000 annually, even with admission fees. Where will those funds come from? You, the taxpayer.
I respectfully urge the citizens of Ames to vote no on the Healthy Life Center Sept. 10th.