Elk Grove City Council Indicates Willingness to Move Proposed Aquatics Center, Amusement Park

March 27, 2014 | Youth Soccer Fields Yes; Pro Soccer Stadium Questionable   As part of their discussion of the city's vario...

March 27, 2014 |

Youth Soccer Fields Yes; Pro Soccer Stadium Questionable  

As part of their discussion of the city's various recreational facility endeavors, the Elk Grove City Council indicated at last night's meeting a willingness to relocate a proposed aquatics center and water amusement park.

The proposed aquatics center and water amusement park, which has an estimated minimum cost of $14 million, is tentatively planned to be built on the corner of Big Horn Boulevard and Civic Center Drive. The project, which is currently in the midst of a $700,000 feasibility and financing study that should be completed in the next two months, is located near an existing residential neighborhood and is thought to have traffic access challenges.

During council deliberations Council Member Pat Hume said he supports components of the project, but questioned the wisdom of its location. Hume said the location was not well-suited based on existing traffic in the area and how it might affect a proposed interchange at Whitelock Parkway and Highway 99.

Mayor Gary Davis countered that the funding associated with this project required that the facility be built in the civic center area, so moving it may not be possible. Davis also stressed the civic center was going to be a high activity area anyway. 

Later in deliberations Davis said that he talks to lots of people in the city and said that he hears across-the-board support and excitement for the aquatics center and water amusement park. 
"They are fired-up about a sun-splash type facility," Davis said. "I think we can get in a rut if the chamber in which we are yelling is a website." 

Hume again noted that he thought the idea for both components was good, but he would hold final judgment on its location until the feasibility study was released. 

"I got great reservations about plucking that type of use in that neighborhood," he added.

Council Member Steve Detrick said he agreed with Hume and Vice Mayor Jim Cooper also questioned the location of the facility.

"I do agree it would be better somewhere further south" Cooper said.

Soccer fields should be divorced from stadium; support signaled, but no money for Vets hall

During the same agenda item, the city council also agreed to separate plans for a series of soccer fields from plans for the construction of professional-grade soccer stadium. Mayor Gary Davis, along with former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, has been pursuing a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise.

A part of Davis' and Nunez's pitch to MLS, they said the city would be willing to construct a $100 million stadium in hopes of bringing an expansion franchise to Elk Grove. In recent months however, Sacramento has moved ahead of Elk Grove in the MLS race and landed a United Soccer League soccer team, which is being viewed as a precursor to being a possible MLS expansion city. 

During public comment, there was universal support for pursuit of the soccer fields, which would serve the city's vast youth soccer players and be used to host tournament, but there was some criticism leveled at the city too. City staff is currently working on possibly purchasing a parcel of land large enough to accommodate the proposed soccer stadium.

"We need to quit spending money on pie-in-the-sky efforts," Elk Grove resident Nikki Carpenter said.

Also appearing during public comment was former Elk Grove City Council Member Sophia Scherman who urged the city to include a veteran’s hall as part of the civic center plan. Long an advocate of the hall, Scherman appeared with several Elk Grove veterans.

While the city council said they support the hall and that it is still part of the civic center plan, Hume noted there is currently no funding mechanism for its construction. 

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Bainc said...

I'm not a big fan of the location but Mr. Davis may be correct about needing to build the complex there due to the funding restrictions.

I'm on board with an aquatics park somewhere and I'll reserve judgment on the amusement portion until the feasibility study is done.

Shame on EGUSD for building 9 High Schools and zero pools. Kudos to the city for attempting to build more pools for our youth. Hopefully it won't bankrupt us in the process.

Coffee Bean said...

Why did Hume, Cooper, and Detrick vote yes months ago if they had this location concern?

As for the enthusiasm by the residents Davis is talking to: Will they still be excited when the general admission to the waterpark is $27.99 for adults and $21.99 for juniors (as is the Roseville facility)? Let's see, a family of four will cost $100!!!! As for the pool, seeing that admission will have to cover the cost of the bonds, Wackford is looking better all the time kids!

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