OPINION: Sanford Idea Not In Sioux Falls Best Interest
Last Friday representatives of Sanford Health/Sports decided to enter the indoor aquatics center discussion. It is obvious from reading news accounts, those Sanford people had not been paying attention to ongoing events.
Their offer to partner with the city at their sports complex, while a nice gesture, does not deal with the reality of needing an easily accessible neighborhood indoor aquatics center. There are not many people living near the Sanford Sports Complex, and the way the city is growing, it will never be the core of any neighborhood.
There is little doubt in most citizen's minds the need for an indoor aquatic facility. The issue has been location. Somewhere in all the discussion, the purpose of this project has gotten lost.
From my perspective, the city's proposal is to replace an aging, inefficient neighborhood pool with an updated state of the art, indoor neighborhood pool. An add-on will be a pool for swimming laps that can also be used for competition events, either local or larger.
Tuesday evening, May 13, the Sioux Falls City Council is set to vote on the financing and location of the indoor aquatic facility for the community. This project has been a long time coming with many starts and stops, petitions, an election, new petitions, and coming in at the last minute, Sanford Health/Sports.
The city should move forward with their plans. It is well thought out, consistent with preserving the center of the city and providing recreation opportunities where people live.
The Spellerberg location is the logical place for the replacement facility, because most residents of the city live within four miles. It is centrally located.
In April voters overwhelmingly said "NO" to another outdoor pool at that park.
The Mayor and Council should thank Sanford for their offer, but decline it.
In the future if the City wishes to partner with Sanford on any recreational projects, I am sure they know how to find the appropriate people to initiate the discussion.