Mt. Pleasant, district still not on
same page on aquatic center upkeep
By James Tilson
Nov. 23, 2017
MT. PLEASANT—Should North Sanpete School District (NSSD) help pay for the cost of running the new aquatic center in Mt. Pleasant?
And, if so, how much should NSSD pay were the major issues facing the Mt. Pleasant City Council at its last meeting on Tuesday, Nov.14.
These issues had come to a head at the last meeting in October, when Mayor Sandra Bigler presented a letter from the NSSD, which implied that the school district would be able to use the aquatic center for free, in consideration for donating the land for 50 years.
Bigler presented a contract to the council, which was dated Sept. 22, 2015, between all the towns in the north county and the NSSD.
The contract set out the rights and obligations when school or city property would be used by other entities.
The pertinent part of the contract reads: “City Parks, Fields, Rec Facilities, Arena, etc. – Owned and maintained by each city. 1-First priority use by the city owning the facility. 2-Available for school use or use by other cities when available, scheduled through the city owning the facility, user pay actual custodial costs for indoor use.”
Monte Bona, on behalf of the Municipal Building Authority (MBA), wanted to frame the discussion so the council could make a decision. According to Bona, the NSSD was going forward as if they did not have to pay for any operation costs because the council had not gotten back to them with a proposal.
Bona informed the council that the pool manager was putting together “solid numbers” on what NSSD’s use of the pool would cost, based on the factors from the BYU study done during the planning stage and the times the school district had indicated it wanted to use the pool.
With that information, the council has to make a decision. Does the donation of land by NSSD equal not having to pay for any operational costs, and, if not, how much should NSSD have to pay?
Bona reminded the council that a decision was necessary because the MBA was preparing a lease for the city for use of the aquatic center. The lease would become the mechanism whereby the bond on the pool would be paid. The MBA needed to know what numbers to use to have the lease make sense and be able to pay the bond.
Councilman Kevin Stallings said, “We’ve already decided that (the contract) doesn’t” allow the school district to not pay for its costs.
Councilman Justin Atkinson mirrored his sentiment and recalled that the city had donated a road to the school district for a new school, a road the city still has to maintain. However, the city still has to pay the school district for use of the high school auditorium for the annual Miss Mt. Pleasant Pageant.
Stalling made a motion that the council receive the data from the pool manager in order to assess a fee on NSSD for use of the aquatic center. The motion passed unanimously, and the pool manager’s report was put on the agenda for the Nov. 28 meeting.
In other business, Bona reported to the council that Widmark Corp. had presented a termination letter to the city, thus ending, at least for now, their intention to build a Shopko store in Mt. Pleasant.
Bona explained that Widmark and other major retailers are cautious about the future market and “don’t know which way to go.”
He added that Widmark had told him they still had plans to build 10 new stores in rural Utah, and Mt. Pleasant was still at the top of the list.
But the rise of online commerce has hurt retail sales.
Bona referenced the recent decision by Walmart to halt construction of all new stores throughout Texas as an example.
Yet at the same time, recent changes in Utah law and laws in other states have forced online sellers to pay sales tax on sales from those states. Bona told the council Mt. Pleasant itself had received $40,000 in sales tax revenue from online sales.