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Roy City's tentative budget to raise property taxes by 15 percent to help save rec center

Posted at 10:50 PM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 00:53:18-04

ROY, Utah — Roy City Council approved a tentative budget increasing property taxes for residents by 15 percent.

$600,000 will be designated for the Roy Recreation Complex and its aquatic center, where the pool has been shut down for almost a month, due to a mechanical issue. During the city council’s work session for the 2022-23 budget a couple weeks ago, Council members discussed the property tax increase, as well as considered shutting down the complex completely.

Many Roy residents, upon hearing the Council's deliberations, expressed outrage at the idea of closing the Complex. At Tuesday's council meeting, dozens of residents showed up waving signs that said "Save our Roy Complex."

Janel Hulbert, a Roy resident who spoke to Council during the meeting, didn't want the decision to be rushed.

"We always think that things are one way or another," Hulbert said. "I just think that a lot of times we can find solutions, if we take the time to do that.

Chris Lewis, also a Roy resident, didn't necessarily think the Complex was worth saving, especially if it meant a property tax increase.

“I just feel like it's kind of almost lost its usefulness," she said. "The complex, back when it was built almost 50 years ago, there really weren't any other options. And now there's just a ton more options that are available, and I don't know the statistics, but from what I understand the percentage of residents that are actually currently using it is pretty slim.”

Some suggested using some of the rainy-day fund as well as fundraising. For three hours during the meeting, high schoolers shared stories of how swimming at the complex helped them with their mental health. Older adults talked about making miraculous medical recoveries from doing laps.

Tuesday night was just the start of the conversation on the future of the Roy Complex. It is important to note that even if the city raised the money to get a new boiler for the pool, which could exceed the amount of money collected from property taxes, those renovations would take months to complete before residents could start swimming again. Additionally, the money from the property tax increase will also go toward hiring more police and firefighters.