Council OKS $3.6 million for new recreation center
TAYLOR — The City Council approved spending $3.6 million Thursday for the construction of a recreation center, but that won’t be enough to build it unless the city of Taylor receives an additional $289,000 from the YMCA, City Manager Jim Dunaway said.
The city cannot open the building unless it gets the additional money because bids for the facility came in too high. The extra money is needed to pay for essential items such as wood flooring, carpet, lockers, a phone system and a security system, city officials said.
Dunaway said the city needs money from the YMCA because City Council member Chris Osborn previously said he would not vote for the recreation center if the city paid more than $3.6 million for it.
Osborn said Thursday he has always been in support of the recreation center but he didn’t want the city to spend any general revenue on it. Voters in Taylor turned down a bond proposition to build a new recreation center in 2010. The $3.6 million that the council approved spending Thursday came from savings the city has made on utility projects.
The vote for the recreation center was 3-2, with city council members Chris Gonzales and Brandt Rydell voting against it. Rydell said he wanted council members to consider another location for the recreation center.
Don Davis was one of several Taylor residents who spoke in favor of the recreation center at the city council meeting Thursday.
“We have to have cool stuff here that will make people want to move to Taylor; that’s the only way to expand the tax base,” he said. “If you have a nice shiny thing that people can go see, then that’s one piece of bait you can use.”
The soonest that the YMCA of Greater Williamson County can consider Taylor’s request for money — and a request to operate the center — is its January meeting. The YMCA has discussed running the recreation center with the city before, but no formal agreement has been made.
If the YMCA decides to fund the request then Taylor can provide a rebate by not charging them rent for 11 or 12 years, Dunaway said. Construction on the recreation center could start in February or March.