Sniping at SARC by private concerns
A local gym operator has taken to Facebook and newspapers expounding how the Sequim Aquatic Recreation Center, a non-for-profit, has an unfair competitive advantage.
First, the community owns SARC … spent $2.4 million to build it in 1985-1986 and sponsored with another $2.5 million in levies until 2004 for community uses, long before any of the local boutique gyms arrived!
A private enterprise choosing to compete with SARC should be able to provide a better full-service community recreation center with comparable prices and take the responsibility of servicing every social economic category. Please, please, if that’s you, step forward … you sponsor kids, elderly, the community, in your private business at less than your operating cost.
SARC is one of the most efficient Park and Recreation Districts in the state, recovering 80 percent of its operating costs through user fees, thus mitigating 80 percent of a tax burden. If, as the local gym owner suggests, SARC not provide classes and workout equipment, and just operates the pool, a levy would be 100 percent, not 20 percent of operating cost!
As for her complaint of a levy, SARC’s public mandate implies that its shortfalls will be serviced by taxes. A 12 cents per $1,000 (assessed valuation) levy — a latte a month — would keep a community icon functioning.
Do you want the Sequim Aquatic Recreation Center to remain a viable community asset? A “Yes” or “No” will do on a future ballot! Until then, I would suggest doing some research into what SARC contributes to your community before making pronouncements.
(Richardson is a SARC board director.)