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Wasatch Taxpayers Association

Aquatics Center Results! Your-Vote-Countshand-water

Number of Precincts 37
Precincts Reporting 37 100.0 %
Times Counted 6241/12718 49.1 %
Total Votes 6064

For 2834 46.73%
Against 3230  53.27%

  Voter Information

Remember to Vote Nov 4

or early voting period  Oct 21 – Oct 31


Wasatch County Aquatics Center BOND ELECTION INFO

Should government, or private investors, pay for a “WANT”?



**Main Street businesses will also have to pass on this tax to you and increase prices to customers. Your local cost of living will increase. Main Street will suffer.    

**Heber City needs a new public safety building, Heber Light & Power needs higher rates, the Fire District needs new equipment and stations, our School District needs a couple new schools. 

Is this a good time to build an Aquatics Center?

 “Voter Info Pamphlet Rebuttal” Part 1 And Part 2  (quick summary of concerns.) On Wasatch County website as part of state requirements, but was not included in the voter info mailer sent to residents.

Our NEW PPT presentation of comparisons to other pools in the state and nation

Sophie’s Planner Video Interview- 5 minute overview of some concerns


The proposal for an aquatics center and sports park to be built by Wasatch County with a bond issue for $24,414,161, with an undetermined interest rate (currently projected to be 3%), over the bond’s 20 year life, amounts to approximately $32,500,000 taxpayer dollars for this project. Every dollar collected from a taxpayer means that much less can be spent on business expansion, car payment, food (going out to local restaurants), charity, entertainment, etc.

The total estimated cost (principal + interest +

Operation & Maintenance)

over 20 years could reach $50 to $80 million.


Should THREE families pay increased taxes so ONE family can avoid driving to Kamas to enjoy their aquatic facility? While the estimates vary, it appears only 26% of residents MIGHT use the pool, the pool planning figures drastically changed from 2012 to 2014 showing increased usage – without explanation.

An Estimated 3/4 of property owners who PAY taxes for an Aquatics Center


This money comes directly out of the pockets of the residents of Wasatch County—and with inflation, increased salaries and benefits for staff, and deterioration of the facility the total over 20 years could be MUCH more.  That’s why voters need to ask several questions when deciding if this is a “need” or a “want”.

Effect on Senior Citizens:  It has been said that seniors can get a tax break, and will not have to pay for this pool. Those seniors having annual income below $31,208 may get a SMALL property tax credit, after a formal application process.  However, many senior citizens have FIXED incomes somewhat higher than $31,208 and would be heavily burdened with this tax increase. See eligibility requirements and application process here. 


While we support all student athletes and the community’s want for healthy recreational opportunities, this proposal is a mere concept at best. The proponents are quoting exact figures when actually no bids on engineered plans or construction have been conducted yet. Also, the suggested bond interest rates are merely estimates. So understand that if this proposal is approved, you’re writing a blank check for some kind of pool-type facility.

Do we REALLY know the total costs, especially maintenance & operations? Between the original 2012 and the recent July 2014 figures given to the public, the revenues INCREASED by 61%, while estimated expenses only increased by 7%.  Is the rosier picture of nearly $200,000 less from the original $555,360 estimate correct?

Do taxes REALLY go down for homeowners when communities grow? Wasatch County population increased 51% during the years 2003 to 2013. Wasatch County + School District total budget from property tax increased 145% during the same period!

The proponents are guaranteeing a bond of no more than $24,414,161”- the actual bond wording, in three places, contains waivers of any responsibility for coming in budget.  http://wasatchtaxpayersassociation.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Pool-BOND-WORDING-for-ballot-2014.pdf

  1. While the BOND is limited to a specific “not to exceed” amount of $24,414,161, It also specifies “for the purpose of paying all or a portion of the costs….” 2. The resolution also states an additional $500,000 of taxes may be necessary for operations…3. it’s “only an estimate and is not limited on the amount of taxes that the County may be required to levy. . .”

So if this project goes over budget, would your desired feature be cut first? Soccer or ball fields, splash pad, competition pool, or lazy river? Who knows if your priority would be removed.

For those voters who are wondering where the more modest aquatics center design of say $7 million is, only if you vote “NO” to this bond will our county possibly come back to the public with a better proposal. Unfortunately, they did not give you a choice on projects – it’s this one, or none, for now.

Why are many other municipalities closing public pools? See our neighbor’s plight- Tooele’s pool re-opened with a bailout  “We went in immediate savings mode, where we needed to conserve any resources that we had that would yield expenses and we began looking at the niceties versus the necessities of county level government.”

PROVO REC CENTER raised fees!      PROVO REC CENTER fees

US SWIMMING website feasibility study issues.  Read their analysis of why pools are expensive!

Here are a few recovery (revenue/expenditure) of pools around the nation with similar populations and facilities.   The “net” is the amount the taxpayers get to pay.
Figures through Bellevue are from Bellevue’s in depth analysis, they built Option B (and are reportedly even worse shape than the estimate.
“Wasatch” are from the 3 documents we have seen listed as VCBO in the last year.

Population expense revenue net recovery
Victoria BC 2006 78,055 $6,000,000 $4,300,000 -$1,700,000.00 72% Indoor 50m pool, dive tank, slide, wave pool
Corvallis OR 2006 55,298 $1,150,000 $750,000 -$400,000.00 65% Indoor 50m pool, outdoor leisure pool
Beaverton OR 2006 93,542 $1,135,000 $426,000 -$709,000.00 38% indoor 50m pool
Lawrence, KS 2006 90,811 $899,500 $356,000 -$543,500.00 40% Indoor 50m pool and leisure pool
St Peters MO 2006 54,842 $900,000 $400,000 -$500,000.00 44% Indoor 50m pool and leisure pool
Est 2009 $1,000,000 $400,000 -$600,000.00 40%
Federal Way, WA $1,834,287 $737,287 -$1,097,000.00 40% indoor 50m pool – full aquatic center
Bellevue, WA Option A 118,100 $922,279 $831,850 -$90,429.00 90%
proposed Option B $2,510,774 $1,513,657 -$997,117.00 60% indoor 50m pool -full aq Center
Option C $4,034,071 $2,294,761 -$1,739,310.00 57%
Kearns, UT $5,089,179 $2,265,536 -$2,823,643.00 45%
Kamas, UT $1,200,000 $500,979 -$699,021.00 42%
Wasatch 5/29/13a 27,000 $1,000,439 $644,790 -$355,649.00 64% Proponents website
Wasatch 05/29/13b $973,785 $418,425 -$555,360.00 43% original VCBO distributed at meeting
Wasatch 07/07/14 $1,041,828 $673,790 -$368,038.00 65% revised recvd from Tbonner via Email
$29,691,142.00 $16,513,075.00 -$13,178,067.00 56%

Why have other Utah voters defeated their bond issues? Eagle Mountain, Utah Daily Herald article- “In a resounding defeat, Eagle Mountain (pop 23,000) residents have put an end to a proposed 25-year bond for a $7 million aquatics center.“

Are there any viable, or cheaper, alternatives? Could Wasatch County subsidize a bus service to Kamas?  That’s more economical than $24 Million to simply build the pool. IHC has a new Aquatic Center and the Fit Stop a therapy pool. Are they underutilized or do they want more competition?

            Heber City needs a new public safety building, Heber Light & Power needs higher rates, the Fire District needs new equipment and stations, our School District needs a couple new schools.

What else will be needed and approved in the next 10 years?

Is this the right time for an Aquatics Center?



The Wasatch School District was asked to contribute to the County the amount of money currently spent annually by the School District to operate & maintain the existing pool. This amount was defined in the March 19, 2014 School Board meeting as $238,000.

However it was pointed out in that same meeting that this arrangement would require an interlocal agreement between the School Board and the County. Such an agreement probably could not be made until such time as an aquatics center is a reality. It is very important to note that this $238,000 is also paid by taxpayers, since it comes from another government entity which is also funded by taxpayers.

The ACTUAL amount the school district spends on operating the pool:  

                              Wasatch School District POOL BUDGET 

FY2014 FY2014 FY 2015
Original Budget Amended Budget
Pool $348,802 $370,827 $372,807
Water & Sewer $2,250 $2,995 $3,054
Natural Gas $22,500 $27,022 $27,562
Electricity $11,750 $15,400 $15,708
Life Guard Salary $135,305 $142,512 $145,362
State Retirement $22,776 $19,997 $21,572
Social Security $10,351 $10,932 $11,120
Group Insurance $36,120 $36,120 $38,179
Travel/Training $1,250 $1,547 $1,250
Pool Supplies $12,500 $19,303 $17,500
Maintenance Allocation $90,000 $95,000 $87,500
Pool Equipment $4,000 $0 $4,000


Pool- COUNTY assessment-2014       WTPA -Aquatics Center Facts Document

Pool design Location- 2014

Pool design Main Level-2014

Pool design upper Level-2014



Wasatch Taxpayers Association appreciates any, and all, donations to further the cause of transparency and accountability in Wasatch County. Please take a moment and help this ALL volunteer group. Click on “Donate” button on the right.  Or join us today for a yearly membership. Thank You!