A consistent argument that I have heard in opposition to voting "Yes" to Save the Roundhouse on November 3 is that those of us that want to see the Roundhouse saved and the recreation center project halted are living in the past and don't want to see Wood River progress into the future. The reality is, however, that this could not be further from the truth. I own a home in Wood River and have started raising a young family with my wife there. I desire accessible and exciting recreation options over and above even what the recreation center would provide. My young son and future children may one day utilize these facilities themselves. At the same time, I understand the importance of the Roundhouse to many hundreds of people in Wood River, both young and young-at-heart. That history should be treasured and protected for many years to come.
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Yes, the City passed a resolution affirming their commitment to protecting the Roundhouse. Those that have read the resolution, however, know that it truly offers no protection at all. The City could choose to declare at any time that the building is no longer structurally sound or is not of use to the residents any further and the building could be no more.
A study must be conducted to determine what residents desire in a recreation center and if one is even desired at all. A vocal group has pressed for a recreation center for years, but have we heard from every resident? Why the rush now? We should halt this project and ensure that it makes sense on all fronts. Is the money there? Is the desire there? Will the center be self-sufficient? If those boxes are checked, then, and only then, should we build a recreation center.
Until then, let's put the brakes on. There is no rush. We have gone this long without a modern recreation center and we can wait a little while longer.
Whether you vote early, by mail, or on November 3, I encourage you to vote "Yes" to Save the Roundhouse and halt the recreation center project.
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