Coon Rapids Residents Divided Over Proposed Community Center
Residents of Coon Rapids are divided over the proposed construction of a multimillion dollar community center that would replace the city's aging Cook Ice Arena.
A community meeting was held at the Crooked Lake Library last week, the latest of several sponsored by city officials to discuss the site's future.
The most grandiose proposition suggests the construction of a 152,000-square-foot community center with a gym, meeting areas, and outdoor ice skating trails, the Star Tribune reported.
Though economic conditions do not merit the center's immediate construction, city officials see it as a part of a future development plan for the city.
City Council member Denise Clint told the Star Tribune that phone and email contacts have shown a 10-to-1 ratio of residents in favor of the community center.
However, many have also adamantly spoken out against the construction, noting the increased property taxes that it would involve. The center could cost the city as much as $60 million.
Some residents have asked that the proposal go to a referendum to better gauge the public's sentiments. The issue will be discussed by City Council later this month.
Klint told the Star Tribune that the issue could have been better presented to Coon Rapids residents.
"I would have presented it as, this is something we have been talking about for years," she said of the most expensive plan. "I would have made it more clear that... it is our wish list if we had unlimited funds, that this is what we would want, and then we would explore that after we listen to everyone."