Saturday, October 21, 2006

Editorial St. Charles Community Center: An Idea Whose Time Has Come


St. Charles Community Center:
An Idea Whose Time Has Come

The First Capitol News urges everyone to vote for Proposition A on Tuesday November 7th. Passage of this NO TAX INCREASE bond issue is critical to helping fulfill the dream, of St. Charles having a first-class Community Center.

Two separate Parks Department Surveys show that upwards of 72% of the public would like to see the City build and operate a Community Center. St. Peters has it’s Rec-Plex, O’Fallon the Spirit Center, Florissant the Eagan Center and JFK Center, Fenton, Maryland Heights, Bridgeton, Kirkwood and Clayton and the list goes on and on...all offer their residents the benefits of a Community Center.

Why operate a Parks & Recreation Department just six or eight months out of the year? A year-round Community Center would offer an aquatic’s center you could enjoy in the dead of winter. Exhaustive studies have shown the need for more multi-purpose gyms and surveys have shown great interest among seniors for an indoor climate controlled walking track.

Our community has also heard for years about how we need to provide something for our young people to do and teenage obesity is of growing concern. Here is an idea that addresses both issues. Aerobics areas, meeting rooms, a theater, child care area and food service area will round out the facility and insure something for everyone is always going on.

To its credit, the City Council has done its homework on this issue; now Council President Bob Kneemiller having headed up an early citizens committee before serving on the Council and Councilman Rory Riddler chairing the current Council Community Center Committee and setting aside the money in the Capital Budget Plan necessary to make this a no tax increase issue the City can finally afford.

Voting YES on PROPOSITION A, will allow the City to issue bonds at a cheaper rate of interest. The time is right to turn this dream into a reality for people of all ages.