Indian Hills residents in two separate surveys overwhelmingly approved building a community center in James Lee Park. The General Improvement District trustees' latest action not only ignored the latest survey but has now blown the chance at a $395,000 Community Block Grant to help pay for it. Indian Hills was number one on the county list of applicants for that grant.
The Indian Hills Board sent out two resident surveys on the community center question. The first survey (mailed over two years ago), had 68 percent of respondents in favor of building on GID property located at James Lee Park. The GID board proceeded with resident wishes and hired an architect and formed a citizen committee to design the facility. To date, an investment of $56,000 has been spent for the architect and engineering. Why did they spend all this district money if they weren't going to follow through with the desires of the residents? That's an expensive change of mind.
If there was any doubt as to how the residents felt, the second survey, just completed, should have put board members' fears to rest. The results still remained 71 percent in favor of building the community center and office complex this year at James Lee Park. Respondents overwhelmingly chose to build at the park and finance it in the best available manner.
Two of the GID trustees said on the record that the survey was "statistically invalid" because the response was only 17 percent of those surveyed. I would remind both trustees they were voted into office by less than 10 percent of the registered voters. Should they now step down from office because the vote that got them elected was "statistically invalid?"
The Indian Hills Board of Trustees at their Feb. 23 meeting voted three against honoring the latest resident survey taken. Three trustees, Joanne Reikenberg, Renee Haskell and Dick Fairfax, directed the general manager to ignore the residents' responses for a community center. They decided to look at a proposal presented by SunRidge Corp. The Sunridge proposal goes like this.
SunRidge Corp. is offering an immovable white elephant. This developer wants the GID to build an office complex only, at their commercial park on Mica Drive and Highway 395. This building would have a cement slab and sit on property that the GID would rent from the developer. Cost for this permanent structure would be about $385,000 for the office (land not included); land to be rented forever at taxpayer expense.
It's time for residents to take notice of how your elected board of trustees is ignoring your voice. The taxpayers of Indian Hills must make every effort to attend the next board meeting March 16 at 7 p.m. and tell the trustees where you want your money spent.