EPHRAIM—Thanks to a feasibility report from Victus Advisors at the city’s council meeting last Wednesday, the Ephraim City Council learned it would cost between $20 and $24 million to build its own sports facility.
For some time now, the council has been concerned about the city using Snow College facilities—particularly the baseball diamonds—for athletic events because as the college grows, it may have to use those assets exclusively for Snow College students.
“We want to make sure we do this right,” said athletic director Michael Patton. “This isn’t just the kind of project you can throw a couple of million dollars at and everything will work out.”
Victus’s study looked at city resources such as motel accommodations, transportation, eating facilities, and infrastructure. It also looked at the competition a sports complex would face from other communities, and whether growth would support a full-time sports complex.
Victus also estimated what the annual expenses of the facility could be, its economic impact on the city, and what local jobs it could make available. The report said projected income from such a facility could be about $565 million over a 30-year period, with an expense return of about 42-percent.
The study recommended an indoor facility as phase 1, with other outdoor facilities for phase 2. Indoor facilities could include courts, swimming, and similar offerings such as the Snow College Athletic Building now offers. Outdoor facilities would include baseball, soccer, volleyball, and other venues.
The council was taken aback by the price tag and acknowledged that this kind of project would have to be very carefully considered. Mayor John Scott commented that he knew one community that did an aquatic project that nearly bankrupted the town.
City Manager Shaun Kjar said, “Paying for something like this is not possible right now. This study was done with the intent of informing Ephraim City on what recreation options are out there and might be supported by our local, regional, and statewide demand. We hope to take feasible elements of this study and determine what Ephraim City needs and what it could possibly sustain in the future.”
The area under consideration for the center is adjacent to the Ephraim Crossing development. The council will look for grant sources and continue to closely examine Victus’s report before any official plans are made.
Later in Wednesday’s meeting, the city council also modified its power ordinance to permit the city to include solar and battery systems in its existing power system following a proposal by Josh Peterson of Custom Electric. The council is considering the proposal.