Proposed Recreation & Aquatics Center

Proposed Recreation & Aquatics Center

Proposed Rec Center 


Argument Against and Argument For
with Rebuttals

Recreation Survey from June 20, 2018

CLICK HERE to view the Recreation Survey Results generated by the general public of Santaquin on June 20, 2018

Recreation Survey from July 18, 2018

CLICK HERE to view the Recreation Survey Results generated by the general public of Santaquin on July 18, 2018.

History (How, Where & Why):

What is the History behind the proposal to bring a Recreation/Aquatics Center to Santaquin?

The proposal of the Community Cultural Center (CCC) in 2017 was initiated by the City to address the “needs” to replace rapidly deteriorating buildings.  The intent was to move the Recreation, Senior Citizen and Library Departments personnel out of their existing buildings into the new CCC Building.  There was also consideration of moving the Museum into the existing Library Building.   

However, through surveys, the City learned that the voters were unwilling to approve an “exclusive use” facility, which they felt would only benefit the Seniors.  Rather, the survey results indicated that the community wanted a Recreation/Aquatics Center that would be available for the benefit of the entire community, including the seniors. 

As a result of “listening” through the surveys, the Santaquin City Council, City Staff and Recreation Committee (which evolved into the Recreation Board) set out on a journey to create a proposal that would meet the expectations and desires of the community.  Initially, this resulted in the planning of a smaller facility behind the museum.  However, when the opportunity to reused and remodel an existing structure at a much more cost effective per square foot price presented itself, a much more ambitious project at the Ercanbrack Building began to take shape.  Through cost effective planning and construction, the proposed plan meets the objectives set by the survey, while also providing additional square footage to provide room for the amenities requested by the public.

How was the proposed location chosen?

The seeds behind the use of the Ercanbrack Building, as a potential recreation center, were planted many years ago by our former Leisure Services Director, Kevin Schmidt.  Having taken a tour of the building, he mention to city leaders the potential of that building due to is large size and open spaces.  However, at the time, the project was not identified as a priority and the seed did not take root.

 Years later, former Assistant City Manager, Dennis Marker, took a tour of the building as part of a business inspection.  He likewise planted the seed regarding the potential of this facility. 

 Later, the development of conceptual plans for a Community Cultural Center became a priority of the city in order to address the deteriorating condition of the old Junior High School and Senior Center.  However, this proposal did not meet the approval of the voters, which necessitated a reevaluation of all options. 

Concurrently, the Santaquin City Council had been reviewing and modifying its Multi-Unit development code in order to address the negative impacts of rapidly expanding high-density developments within our community.  In the process of rezoning portions of Main Street to preserve commercial areas, city staff met with property owners along Main Street. 

During such a meeting with Mr. Ercanbrack, (having remembered the suggestions of Kevin Schmitt and Dennis Marker), City Manager Reeves asked Mr. Ercanbrack if city staff could tour his buildings.  One tour led into two more tours with members of the City Council, Recreation Board, and an Architectural Firms.  This led to the proposal we have before the public for their consideration in November 2019.


How has the City involved the public in considering a recreation/aquatics center?

City Council Meetings

07/15/2015 – City Council Agenda -Appointment of Recreation Board Members

06/06/2018 – City Council Agenda -Discussion and possible action regarding the first Qualtrics/Recreation Center Survey

11/01/2018 – Mayors Newsletter

11/06/2018 – City Council Agenda -Appointment of Recreation Board Members – Leslie Miller, Jessica Tolman, David Harris, Chad Finch.  Discussion and possible action regarding the mission and vision of the recreation program and related presentation

12/18/2018 – City Council Agenda -Appointment of Recreation Board Members – Sara Olson, Josh Nielsen

05/21/2019 – City Council Agenda -Discussion and possible action regarding a proposal for architectural services for the proposed recreation center

07/02/2019 - City Council Agenda -Discussion and update regarding the proposed recreation center

08/01/2019 – Mayor’s Newsletter 08/06/2019 - City Council Agenda -Discussion regarding the proposed recreation/aquatics center bond proposal

08/20/19 – City Council Agenda -Resolution

08/04/2019 – GO Bond for Rec Center Resolution  
08/21/2019 – Resolution Calling for the Bond Election 08/28/2019 - Town Hall Meeting – Recreation Center

08/28/2019 - Advertised and Solicited for “Arguments Against the Bond”

08/28/2019 - Published Intent to Issue Bonds – Payson Chronicle

09/02/2019 - City Council Agenda – Discussion and Approval of the “Arguments In Favor of the Bond”

09/04/2019 - Published Intent to Issue Bonds – Payson Chronicle

09/05/2019 - Town Hall Meeting – Apple Valley Elementary School

Recreation Board 

The Recreation Board was active in 2014, 2015, 2016 then dissolved in 2017. It was reorganized in late 2018 and started having meetings in early 2019.

01/14/2019 – Recreation Board Agenda-Discussion of the recreation board bylaws, ordinance and board roles. Election of Chair and Vice Chair positions

04/29/2019 – Recreation Board Agenda-Discussion and possible action regarding the proposed recreation center and preparing for the November 2019 election.  Off Site Tour of the 700 West Main street property recently secured under an option agreement for potential purchase in support of the proposed recreation center.

05/13/2019 – Recreation Board Agenda-Discussion about the possibility of upcoming recreation center

05/20/2019 – Recreation Board Agenda-Offsite tour of Heber Rec Center

06/10/2019 – Recreation Board Agenda-Discussion and possible action of the continuation of planning of the possible upcoming recreation and aquatics center

07/01/2019 – Recreation Board Agenda- Discussion and possible action of the continuation of planning of the possible upcoming recreation and aquatics center

07/17/2019 – Recreation Board Agenda- Discussion and possible action of the continuation of planning of the possible upcoming recreation and aquatics center

08/01/2019 – Recreation Board Agenda- Discussion and possible action of the continuation of planning of the possible upcoming recreation and aquatics center

08/06/2019 – City Council Work Meeting on Recreation Center

08/12/2019 – Recreation Board Agenda-Discussion of the proposed recreation and aquatics center

Recreation Committee (citizen formed committee)

The Recreation Committee informally met as citizens many times in 2017.  City Staff became involved in June of 2018 and the meetings started being held in city buildings:

06/04/2018 – Recreation Committee Meeting

07/09/2018 – Recreation Committee Meeting

07/17/2018 – Recreation Committee Tour of Neighboring Facilities (i.e. Mt. Pleasant, Manti, Gunnison, Richfield, Nephi)

08/06/2018 – Recreation Committee Meeting

09/10/2018 – Recreation Committee Meeting

10/01/2018 – Recreation Committee Meeting October/November – Significant Recreation Committee work on the Proposed Recreation, Arts & Parks (RAP) Tax.  They met regularly during this period of time.

12/17/2018 – Recreation Committee Meeting

How will the public be involved leading up to the election?

09/10/2019 – Town Hall Meeting (7pm) – Apple Valley

09/17/2019 – Public Hearing on the bonds

09/20/2019 – Last day rebuttal arguments accepted

9/23 – 10/21 – Voter Information Pamphlet(s) Mailed

09/24/2019 – Town Hall Meeting (7pm) – Ercanbrack Building

10/02/2019 – Publish Election Notice - Newspaper

10/04/2019 – Arguments For & Against w/ Rebuttals must be uploaded to the State Website

10/05/2019 – Town Hall Meeting (9am) – Ercanbrack Building

10/09/2019 – Publish Election Notice - Newspaper

10/15/2019 – Ballots are mailed by Utah County

10/15/2019 – Public Meeting – Allow Interested Parties to be heard, pro & con, equal time

10/16/2019 – Publish Election Notice - Newspaper

10/18/2019 – Electronic Recording of the 10/15 Public Meeting must be uploaded to website

10/29/2019 – Last day to register to vote online or in-person

10/29/2019 – Sample Ballot must be posted

11/05/2019 – Election Day

Is the Proposed Recreation/Aquatics Center a “Need” or a “Want”?

Officially, the proposed Santaquin City Recreation/Aquatics Center is considered a “Want”.  However, there are aspects of this projects which are greatly needed such as a location for our Senior Citizens and Veterans to meet in a healthy environment.

Since this project is both a “Want” and a “Need” and a significant investment of tax payer dollars, the Santaquin City Council feels strongly that the proposed project should go before the voters for their consideration. Council Member Mecham said it best when he stated, “I do not feel I have the right to deny the ability of the people the right to vote on this project”. 

Of course, in asking the people to vote, there is an assumption that this project is financially feasible for Santaquin City to undertake.  Santaquin City will take every effort to share accurate, complete, and transparent information with the public prior to the election so that they can make this determination for themselves with their ballots.

How is the Recreation/Aquatics Center proposal different than the Community Cultural Center proposal (Senior Center/Library) that failed in 2017?


Community Cultural Center

Proposed Recreation/Aquatics Center







Square Footage



Cost Per Square Foot




Top Down

(From the Council)

Bottom Up

(From the People)


Existing City Property behind the Museum

Main Street Location on Randall Ercanbrack Property


Senior Citizen Center

Indoor Lap Pool


Indoor Kids Play Pool

Multi-Use Space

Spa/Hot Tub


College Regulation Sized Basketball Court (Multi-Use Volleyball/Pickleball, etc. – 1)

Additional smaller multi-use pickup courts - 3

Cardio/Weight Lifting

Indoor Track

Indoor Soccer/Turf Area

Indoor Batting Cage Netting

Aerobic/Exercise Rooms

Banquet Hall (Aerobics/Dance, Seniors, Weddings, Parties, etc.)

Warming Kitchen

Commercial Kitchen

Seniors Lounge

Veterans Room

Child Care Facilities

Bouldering Walls


Public Conference Room Space

Exterior Splash Pad*

Exterior Field Space*

2nd Floor Additional Exercise and Classrooms with Office Space*

* Subject to available funding

Why was the idea of a Recreation/Aquatics Center postponed from the 2018 Ballot to the 2019 Ballot?

While the Recreation Committee desired to put a proposal before the voters in 2018, the City Council wanted an additional year to study and design a well thought-out facility for the voters to consider in 2019.

Why did the City Council put this on the 2019 Ballot? Are we ready?

The Santaquin City Council feels that there is sufficient information to give to the voters to consider this proposal in 2019.  Waiting an additional year would incur more cost to hold the facility and further plan for the facility.  It was felt that the additional cost of time and money for the additional benefit of having a limited amount of additional information did not warrant the investment of taxpayer resources.  As such, the time is right to ask the people.

Arguably, this process started nearly 30-years ago when a group of citizens started the Orchard Days Celebration as a way to raise funds for a pool.  Those funds are still in the bank to this very day ($32K).  However, each year the question is asked, “Are we ready?” and each year the answer has been “No.”  In the meantime, cities with a smaller population such as Kamas, Mt. Pleasant, South Weber, Nephi and others have moved forward to create recreational venues in their communities.

As such, it is not a matter of “Are we ready?” It truly is a matter of “Is this our goal and are we committed towards achieving it?”  When Santaquin can answer the second question, the first question will take care of itself.

Why are we purchasing new land and remodeling an existing building instead of building from scratch on land the City already owns?

Mr. Randall Ercanbrack has announced the donation of his land (e.g. an appraised value of $310,500) in support of this project and will only charge Santaquin City the appraised amount for the existing structure (e.g. $2.3M appraised value).

Remodeling an existing steel structure is one of the most cost effective ways to maximize the square footage of the proposed facility while keeping costs affordable. Remodeling will also revitalize and beautify an existing structure on Main Street, which will help to expand Santaquin’s Main Street Business District further to the west. 

Please see a side-by-side comparison of the 2017 Community Cultural Center, 2019 New Construction Proposal, and the 2019 Remodel of the Ercanbrack Building Proposal below.  Note: the drop in the “Cost per Square Foot” price, which allows for a quadrupling of the overall building size at less than half of the cost per square foot.



Community Cultural Center

Initial Evaluation of a Recreation Center (Behind the Museum)

Proposed Recreation/Aquatics Center

(Ercanbrack Property)









Square Footage

14,400 sf.

24,000 sf.

66,000 sf.

Projected Cost

$6 Million

$8 Million

$12 Million

Cost per Square Foot





To ensure the structure was structurally sound and could be remodeled, Santaquin City hired WPA Architectural to complete a structural analysis of the facility, which indicated that only minor investments were needed to convert the facility from an agricultural snow-load designation to a municipal use.  

In 2018, Santaquin City remodeled its old Public Works Building (steel structure) near the Rodeo Grounds into a Recreation Facility.  This projected proved to be a cost-
effective solution to relocate the recreation department out of the old Junior High building. 

Ron Jones, Architect with WPA Architecture and Nathan Ellsworth of Ellsworth Paulsen General Contracting estimate that the cost savings of remodeling the existing facility vs. building new construction of the same size will save Santaquin City $2,121,950. It is for these reasons that Santaquin City is proposing the remodel of the Ercanbrack Fruit Packing Shed into a Recreation/Aquatics Center.

Old PW Bldg  

REC under const

Rec Bldg

Did the city consider making this a regional facility by inviting neighboring communities to participate in the construction and/or operation of the facility?

Due to the complexity, politics, control, legal requirements, and the cost of setting up a regional district, the idea was not initially pursued due to the timing and effort involved.  However, if Santaquin City voters choose to approve the proposed project, Santaquin City may consider inviting neighboring communities to participate through the formation of a regional recreation district.  Increasing the number of households has the potential of spreading the risk of loss over a greater pool of participants. 

To lower the complexity, politics and costs of expanding the boundaries, it would be easier to solidify the direction of Santaquin City as a first step.  This is accomplished by working to educate our votes regarding the merits of the proposal and then seeking their support through the General Election.  If the vote of the residents is to approve the center, expansion of the service area would become a much easier process of working with one community at a time to invite them to participate.  However, at this point, expanding the boundaries has not been formally considered by the Santaquin City Council.  Rather, the focus is on working with our own residents to listen, resolve concerns and move forward in a direction in accordance with the will of the people.

If other neighboring communities choose to participate, the bond’s outstanding balance could be reduced and/or the operating costs of the facility could be reduced by sharing said costs over a greater pool of people.

design (What's included?):

What amenities/features will the new Recreation/Aquatic center include?

With the donation of approximately $310,500 in land from Mr. Ercanbrack announced on August 28th, the proposed project will include the following amenities in initial project bid.

  • Indoor Lap Pool(Additional lanes and seating may be added if there is school district participation)
  • Indoor Kids Pool( Zero entry play area with slide, small lazy river and water features)
  • Spa/Hot Tub
  • Party Room in the Kids Pool Area
  • Multi-Use Court Space (One college regulation sized court and three additional smaller pickup courts configured for basketball, volleyball, pickleball, etc.)
  • Indoor Track (1:20 – Twenty laps equals 1 mile)
  • Indoor Soccer/Turf Area
  • Indoor Batting Cages (Netting drops down from the ceiling in the Soccer/Turf area)
  • Cardio/Weightlifting
  • Bouldering Walls for Climbing
  • Multi-Use Rooms/Banquet Hall with Exterior Patio Area (e.g. Seniors & Veterans Programming, Rental for Weddings, Parties and Performances, City Events – Town Hall Meetings, etc. This section of the building will be used for recreational programming.It can also be completely isolated from the remainder of the building so that it will be available for rental.)
  • Warming Kitchen (For public access (e.g. caterers) with an expandable wall that opens into a commercial kitchen (e.g. full meal preparation for seniors and city events)).
  • Seniors Lounge Area & Veterans Area
  • Classrooms and Exercise Rooms
  • Child Care (Interior/Exterior Play Areas)
  • Men’s, Women’s, and Family Changing Rooms and Showers
  • Lobby with Equipment Rental and Concession Area

    Additive Alternate Amenities would include:

  • Exterior Splash Pad(Rollup doors from the kids pool will allow access and good airflow in the summer months)

  • 2nd Floor - Additional Classrooms, Exercise Rooms, and Office Space


Will the proposed Recreation/Aquatic Center be built in phases? If so, what will not be included in the first phase?

It is not anticipated that the project would be built in phases.  Rather, the project would be bid out with a few of the amenities included as “Additive Alternates”.  Through a process of “Value Engineering” a General Contractor would be brought on to the project at about a 30% architectural design level.  By bringing on a general contractor early, architectural designs can be modified to lower construction costs and provide funding for the additive alternates. 

As of August 28th, additive alternates would include the Exterior Splash Pad and buildout of the 2nd Floor additional classrooms, exercise rooms and office space.

*The pool expansion is dependent upon school district participation.  If approved, it is anticipated that the expansion also be part of the initial construction.  

If approved, when is it anticipated to open?

If approved by the voters, it is anticipated that the bonding process would take 2 months to complete.  Full Design and Engineering of the project would likely take 6-8 months.  Construction would likely take 12-18 months.  As such, it is anticipated that total construction of the project would take 2-3 years before the facility would open to the public.

What alternative, if any, were evaluated before the city settled on the proposal that is on the ballot in November, 2019, and who evaluated them?

Since the 2018 surveys, Santaquin City considers two main options. The first project included a 15,000-20,000 Pool and Basketball Multi-Use Court complex that would be built on City property behind the Chieftain Museum.  The second project considered is the proposed Recreation/Aquatics Center on the Ercanbrack property.  When estimated costs of the second proposal came in higher than expected, the City Council revisited the concept of the original proposal during their August 20th City Council Meeting. The council also considered the possibility of putting both projects on the 2019 ballot or postponing the project to the 2020 ballot.  The pros and cons of each option, as drafted by city staff with the assistance of council members and later evaluated by the entire council as a body within the meeting, are highlighted in the following slides:





Note: All evaluations and research have been performed as a group effort with the following parties included:  Santaquin City Council, Santaquin Recreation Board, Santaquin City Staff, Community Recreation Committee (self-formed), WPA Architecture (conceptual architectural renderings and structural analysis), Construction Control Corporation and Ellsworth Paulsen Construction, LLC.


How many acres is the City planning to purchase?

The city’s initial purchase offer was for the specific parcel of land on which the building is located, which is 2.72 acres in size.  However, at the time, the city desired to purchase an undetermined amount of additional acreage from Mr. Ercanbrack’s so that the facility would have enough land for a pool addition, slash pad, patio, field space, parking and roads.  The additional acreage was undetermined at that time because a conceptual design and site layout was first needed to determine the amount of additional acreage needed.

As such, the city ordered a commercial appraisal of the 2.72 acre parcel (with the building) and asked the appraiser to provide a per square foot price for the additional, yet undetermined, amount of acreage. The appraised market value came back at $2,300,000 for the building with the base 2.72 acres and a $1.35/square foot for the additional acreage desired. The City Council offered this price to Mr. Ercanbrack in the purchase option agreement and he graciously accepted. (Please note that the property was listed for sale at that time we began negotiations with Mr. Ercanbrack and he had other offers on the property.  The City Council felt it was in the interest of the city to secure a purchase option agreement in order to remove the property from the market while city staff proceeded with conceptual designs and prepared for a potential election.  It was recently learned that the other offer was for a high-density development on the full 22 acres of property).

Since the purchase option agreement was approved on April 27th, 2019, city staff, the Recreation Board, and the City Council have been actively working on conceptual designs of the facility, conceptual site layouts of the roads and utilities, and cost estimating of the various amenities that could be included in the facility.  A proposed site layout was developed to provide good road connectivity by connecting Hwy 6-Main Street with 100 North Street and 500 West Street (3 access points) as well as to provide land for the aforementioned amenities.  The resulting conceptual design/layout illustrates the total acreage for the facility at roughly 8 acres.  As such the total market value/purchase price of the desired property is projected to be approximately $2.61M. 

Should the voters approve this project, Santaquin City will begin to invest in the full design of the project, which will include survey work and the development of a legal description.  The future survey work and legal description development will determine the exact square footage included in the eventual purchase.

Update:  As of August 28, 2019, Mr. Ercanbrack has graciously offered to donate the additional acreage needed by the city for the field space, splash pad, parking, along with the dedication of land for roads.  This lowers to total cost of the purchase of the building and all land to $2.3M and will save the city approximately $310,500. 

Site Plan

How big is the proposed Recreation/Aquatics Center?

The square footage of the recreation portion of the proposed facility is 49,000 sf. and 17,000 sf. for the addition that would be constructed for the Indoor Pool facility. 

The total square footage of the building is proposed to be 66,000 sf. 

Will the bond cover lighting the ballfields near Orchard Hills Elementary School or any other improvements to city recreation facilities beyond the proposed Recreation/Aquatics Center?

No.  While the idea of lighting the ballfields and other possible improvements to city recreation facilities was discussed in previous Recreation Board Meetings, project funding is insufficient to make this commitment to the community. However, Santaquin City has plans to provide funding for the lighting of the baseball fields using alternative means of funding. 

Santaquin City is currently in the process of updating its Parks and Recreation Capital Facility Plan to move up the project timeline of both the Recreation/Aquatics Center as well as the lighting of the ballfields near Orchard Hills Elementary.  By moving up the project’s timeline, the city will be in a position to legally utilize Park Impact fees to expand the capacity of the ballfields by installing lights as a future project to be considered by the City Council.  Using this alternate funding, could potentially advance the timeline of installing lights on the ballfields.

Furthermore, Park Impact fees would become eligible to provide additional funding for the proposed Recreation/Aquatics Center to ensure that all proposed amenities are included in the initial project’s construction.


What will happen to the existing recreation center on 190 South 400 West?

The existing recreation facility on 190 South and 400 West would be used by the Recreation Department for the coordination of all outdoor sporting programs (e.g. baseball, soccer, football, etc.)  It would also be used by the Recreation Department for all Events Planning such as Orchard Days, etc.  Lastly, the interior exercise area would continue to be utilized for recreational programs.

Are there contracts between third party providers (e.g. architects, engineers, contractors) and if so, are those contracts public information?

The only existing contract for this proposed project is with WPA Architecture for the conceptual design, site layout and renderings of the facility to prepare it to a level sufficient to provide information for the voters to consider in November 2019.  Below is a copy of the contract with WPA Architecture. 

CLICK HERE to view WPA Architecture Contract (in pdf)

funding/bonding/construction costs:

How much is the bond?

The proposed bond is $12,000,000

How long will the bond last?

The proposed bond has a term of 20 Years

What is the interest rate of the bond?

If the bond is approved by the voters, the interest rate will be established at the time the bond is executed; presumably December 2019.  However, based upon the current financial market for municipal bonds, Zions Bank Public Finance has projected our interest rate to be:

       Net Interest Cost (NIC):    2.5177706% 
True Interest Cost (TIC):

What is the updated cost estimate for construction of this project?

The Proposed Recreation and Aquatics Center is estimated to cost $11,969,014.  The following is a break down of this estimate:

Building/Land:       $2,300,000
Construction Cost/Ellsworth Paulsen Estimate:     $10,594,593
  Total   $12,894,593
 Additive Alternates:        ($925,279)
 Base Bid Amount: Total     $11,969,014
 CM/GC Value Engineering Process
(Restoration of Additive Alternates)
 Mezzanine:          $550,738
 Splash Pad:          $374,841
  Total        $925,579

Ellsworth Paulsen has completed three major projects for the city in the past. They are a trusted and proven contractor that has completed work on time and under budget. 
CLICK HERE to view the Ellsworth Paulsen Estimate of Construction Costs. 

What is the City’s current bond capacity? How is the capacity determined and how does that change over time?

The bonding capacity (debt limit) for municipalities is established by Utah State Statute, which allows 4% of the “total real property taxable value” for General Fund debt and another 4% for enterprise fund debt (e.g. Water, Sewer, Pressurized Irrigation, and Storm Drainage). 

Santaquin City’s Total Real Property Taxable Value as of June 2019 is $556,274,342.


General Fund

Enterprise Funds

Total Legal Limit

Total Real Property Taxable Value:



Limit set by State Statute:

x 4%

x 4%

Legal Debt Limit:




Less Current Debt(June 2019)



Remaining Available Balance:




Proposed Bond:


Remaining Credit Available:




*Total Real Property Taxable Value typically increases each year due to increased assessed value of property from the growth of the economy as well as growth in the number of homes and businesses that are built in Santaquin on an annual basis.  However, assessed values can decrease during recessionary periods.


What are the City’s Existing Bonds?

For a full and complete explanation of Santaquin City’s debt, please see pages 141-145 of the FY2019-2020 Santaquin City Budget Narrative by clicking the link. 

CLICK HERE for FY2019-2020 Santaquin City Budget Narrative

Here are two tables from that portion of the City’s budget document:

General Fund Debt:


Original Amount

FY2019-2020 Payment

Balance as of 6/30/2020

Maturity Date

2015 Vehicles (5)





2016 Vehicles (4)





2015 Pumper Truck





2018 SCBA Fire





2018 Road Bond





2019 Vehicles (10)*(Pending)











Enterprise Fund Debt:


Original Amount

FY2018-19 Payment

Balance as of 6/30/2019

Maturity Date

1993A Sewer Bonds





2011A-1 Sewer Bonds





2011A-2 Sewer Bonds





2011B-1 Sewer Bonds





2012 Irrigation Refund Bond





2018 Water Bond










What is the proposed annual debt service payment?

If the bond is approved by the voters, the actual debt service payment will be established at the time the bond is executed; presumably December 2019.  However, based upon the current financial market for municipal bonds, Zions Bank Public Finance has projected average annual debt service payments to be $782,124.          

See amortization schedule below)

Amortization Schedule

How will this proposal affect my property taxes?

The annual property tax impact on the average Santaquin City home (i.e. Primary residence valued at $281,000) is $218/year or $18.17/month.

To calculate your exact property tax impact, divide the assessed value of your property (Utah County Assessor’s Office recently mailed updated property assessments to all property owners) by 100,000 and multiply that number by $6.47 for the monthly impact.  Multiply that number by 12 months to calculate your specific annual impact.


The following table may assist you in estimating the property tax impact on your home without having to perform the calculation:


If approved, when will it affect my property taxes?

The assessment will begin with the property tax assessment in November 2020.

Will the impact on my property taxes change over time?

Yes, Your Property Taxes Will Go Down Over Time.

The annual debt service payment is nearly flat with an average annual payment of $782,000.  The most expensive payment year is the first year when the debt service payment is divided by the existing number of homes and businesses in the community as projected in this proposal. 

$782,000 / existing homes & businesses (allocated based on assessed value)

Each subsequent year, the same average debt service payment is divided by a larger number of homes and businesses (e.g. existing homes and businesses PLUS the new growth in housing and businesses from the previous year.)  Therefore, each year the annual impact per home/business will decrease as the bond payment is spread across a greater number of homes and businesses.

$782,000 / existing homes & businesses + new homes & businesses

 *While it is theoretically possible that Santaquin City experiences zero growth in the housing and business market in a given year, the likelihood of such an event is extremely low.  Even during the 2008-2010 down turn of the economy, Santaquin City continued to grow (See chart below).  However, if such a year occurred, the property tax assessment per property would be the same as the previous year.   (Numbers provided by Santaquin City Community Development Department.)

New Homes Chart

This same model of decreasing property taxes holds true for the Santaquin City General Property Tax line item on your property tax assessment.  While Santaquin City raised property taxes in 2013 to pay for road maintenance, every year since 2013, the Santaquin City Property Tax Rate has decreased. (Numbers provided by Utah County Assessor’s Office Website)

Rates*Prior to the 2013 property tax increase, Santaquin City had not raised its property tax rate for more than 20 years.

What additional funding is the City looking to secure, and if obtained, will it lower the bond amount?

Santaquin City will be seeking additional funding from a variety of sources:

School Districts

Santaquin City is planning to invite our local school districts to participate in the proposed project by providing additional funding that would be used to expand the Lap Pool by adding additional swim lanes for their swim teams as well as provide seating for spectators of their swimming events.  If the invitations are accepted, the project will be expanded utilizing these funds.  Contributions from the school districts will not lower the bond amount.


Santaquin City is planning to seek grants to support this overall project.  One of those grants is a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) that supports projects that will create jobs. (The proposed facility is projected to create 3 “full time” and 200 “part time” jobs within our community.) 

Another grant the City plans to apply for is from Mountainland Association of Governments (MAG), for commercial kitchen equipment that will allow food preparation for our senior citizen programs and other city events.  We will also seek various federal, state, and local grants for additional recreational amenities and programs.   

Grants are typically competitive in nature and require matching funds.  As such, Santaquin City will begin to submit grant applications if the bond proposal is approved by the voters and matching funds are secured. Grant proceeds will be used specifically for those items outlined in the grant applications.  The net effect of securing additional grant funding may or may not lower overall bond amount depending upon the grant. 


Recently, the property owner of the proposed facility, Mr. Randall Ercanbrack, announced a donation of land (Valued at $310,500) as a contribution towards this project.  In short, he has agreed to sell the building for the appraised price of $2.3M and donate the remainder of the property needed for the facility (e.g. approximately 6 acres plus roads).  This donation will be used to enhance the project by adding in the remaining amenities requested by the public. 

In addition to his donation, Santaquin City is planning to approach other prospective donors.  The city plans to install a Donor Wall to honor those who make cash and in-kind donations to the overall project.  Specific rooms may be named after large donors and contributors to the project.   

Donated proceeds will be used specifically for the items outlined by the donor.  Where possible, contributions will enhance the overall project by adding additional amenities until the project is fully funded with all amenities requested in the surveys.  Any additional donations may lower the overall bond amount.  This will not be known until construction is complete and the project is fully closed out.

Impact Fees –

Santaquin City is in the process of updating its Parks and Recreation Capital Facilities Plan to update the timing schedule of its Recreation/Aquatic Center as well as the lighting of its baseball fields near Orchard Hills Elementary School.   With a plan update, the City will be able to utilize Park and Recreation Impact Fees to fund amenities not covered with the bond.  Impact fees could also offset bond debt service payments, but could not be utilized as the primary source dedicated to secure a bond.

How are we assured the bond funds will be used on this project instead of something else?

The Local Government Bonding Act of the State of Utah limits the use of bond proceeds to the terms described in the authorizing resolution.  Resolution 08-04-2019 of the Santaquin City Council states the following:  


The Bonds are to be issued in the aggregate principal amount of not to exceed $12,000,000 for the purpose of financing all or a portion of the costs of acquiring, constructing, furnishing and equipping an aquatic recreation center and related improvements and paying costs of issuance of the Bonds. The Bonds shall be secured by ad valorem property taxes of the City to the extent authorized by law.  

Please click here for a copy of the entire authorizing resolution

What additional bonding needs or wants does the City expect to arise in the coming years?

With the near completion of the extension of Summit Ridge Parkway to US-6 Main Street and associated projects of the 2018 Roads Bond, the near completion of the East Bench Irrigation Tank and Booster Pump Project, and the Public Private Partner (P3) plans to address the City’s office space needs (See – “What are the Plans for a New City Hall?” under Governance/Transparency),  Santaquin City does not anticipate the issuance of additional bonds in the immediate (0-6 year) horizon. 

Future bonds may be issues to address capital infrastructure projects as outlined in the City’s Capital Facility Plans which can be found by “clicking here

The issuance of future bonds (beyond 6 years) may include funding for projects such as storm drainage, water, sewer, transportation, and public safety infrastructure/facilities will be proportional to the impact created by new vs. existing residents (e.g. many projects are growth dependent and may only be needed due to the impact of new growth.)

What happens to the bond and project if there is a recession?

Everyone hopes to avoid a recession.  However, considering and planning for a possible recession is prudent for a municipality.  While a recession can negatively affect any project by reducing potential revenues, a recession may also provide an opportunity that may benefit the project and community.  For example, during recessionary periods, the cost of construction may decrease.  With favorable bidding, the overall project cost may be lower than projected, thus lowering the overall bond. 

Taking on a municipal project during a recessionary period may also help to mitigate the negative local recessionary impacts by creating local construction jobs.  Once open, it is anticipated that the facility would create approximately 200 local jobs that may assist the local economy.  Lastly, the location of the facility on the west side of Main Street may increase vehicular traffic along US-6 in front of Santaquin’s Main Street businesses.

If an economic downturn takes place prior to, or during construction, the city could elect to place a hold on the project if necessary. 

Should losses in revenue occur, cost reduction steps would need to be employed to maintain operational budgets.  These reductions could include reduced programming and/or facility staffing.

What are the plans for a new City Hall and will we need to bond for it?

Public-Private-Partnership: Lease of Office Space for Administration & Community Development on City Owned Property

sample 100 East Main

  • Santaquin City is considering the benefits of using a Public-Private Partnership approach to meet its immediate office space needs without incurring debt.  This option would involve a bidding process that would seek the investment of private dollars to build an office building on the City owned property at the corner of 100 East Main Street. 
  • The City would commit to leasing a major portion (2 of 3 floors) of the office space for a 7-10 year period.  The remaining office space would be available to the general public for economic development purposes.  At the end of the lease term, the city could either continue to lease the space or relocate its offices to a future city owned facility. 
  • By contributing the land, the City would create a long-term revenue stream proportionate to the value of the land vs. the value of the building.  The City would also include a buy-out clause where the City could opt to purchase the building, or the private partner could opt to buy-out the land from the city at some point in the future. 

Is there an immediate need for a satellite Fire/Police Station?

The extension of Summit Ridge Parkway has significantly reduced the immediate need for a satellite public safety building.  Future road projects such as the extension of Highland Drive to the south exit and connectivity from Summit Ridge to Rocky Ridge will also help to improve response times.  Lastly, a new city hall will help to resolve office space issues.  The highest needs for the Fire and Police Departments are listed below in prioritized order:

Current Prioritized Fire Requests:
1. More daytime coverage – Approved 2019/20
2. True Ladder Truck
3. Storage

Current Prioritized Police Requests:
1. Office Space 
2. Continued Vehicle Rotation - Approved 2019/20
3. AED Rotation Program - Approved 2019/20

What is the current financial position of Santaquin City?

Santaquin City’s Financial Position is strong and growing.

Fund Reserve  Sales Tax  

Property Tax  Prop Tax Comparison  

Proj Increase  Growth

CLICK HERE to review Santaquin City's Budget and Audit for more detailed information.

If the City is in a good financial position, why don’t you fix up the Museum?

The Santaquin City Council is fully committed to preserving our community’s history. This may or may not include the preservation of the actual building(s), which is yet to be determined.

So far the Santaquin City Council has…

  • Formed a Museum Board to study the issues, raise funds, and submit recommendations
  • Funded a structural analysis of the building
  • Completed the initial work to form a 501c3 “Friends of Santaquin” organization for donations

However, more study is needed before the City’s elected leaders feel comfortable investing tax payer dollars into the Museum Building.

operating revenue and cost projections:

What are the projected membership/usage fees, projected revenues and who has generated those projections?

The estimated membership pricing and revenue projections were created by city staff and are based in part upon the model used by Springville City for its Aquatics Center (at a less expensive scale).  Prices and plan structure are subject to modification.

During the town hall meeting, it was noted that the differential between the residential rate and non-residential rate needed to be increased to cover the amount of property taxes paid by residents.  As such, the following table reflects an update, including a corresponding update to revenue projections.

Updated Table:


Other projected revenues include:

Program/Classes:     $16,250
Banquet Hall/Party Room Rentals      $10,000
Concessions:       $6,500
 _____________________________ __  ________ 
Total Projected Revenues:   $681,028

 *Projected revenues identified above do not include potential revenue from sponsorships/advertising, etc.

What are the total projected operational costs and who has generated those projections?

Projected expenditures are subcategorized into staffing and non-staffing expenses, as projected by city staff. 

Staffing Expenditures

It is anticipated that the facility will create 3 full-time management positions and as many as 200 part-time positions to cover 24.875 full-time equivalent positions (FTEs).  The facility is anticipated to be open 300 days per year.   The total anticipated staffing costs are $705,206.


* It is important to note that salaries paid to facility employees may have a beneficial effect on the local economy

Non-Staffing Expenditures

Non-staffing operational costs are projected below:

Non-staff operational

What is the projected Income Statement and does it include a projected operational transfer from the City’s General Fund?

The projected income statement is illustrated below.  It does illustrate a projected operating deficit of $254,678 as a transfer from the City’s General Fund.

Proj Income

How does the operational deficit of the proposed facility compare to the investments made by the City’s General Fund to other city departments?

The following table illustrates the investment made by the General Fund into various city departments that do not break even or make money:



Santaquin City’s investment into those departments is deemed by the City Council to be a priority by providing funding in four main areas:


  • Public Health and Safety (Police, Fire, EMS, Emergency Management, Dispatch)

Balanced Prioritization:

  • Providing Essential Services (Water, Sewer, Irrigation, Storm Drainage, Roads, Parks, Cemetery, Garbage Collection)
  • Economic Prosperity (Economic Development, Community Development, Building Inspection, Planning and Zoning, Engineering)
  • Quality of Life (Recreation, Events, Library, Museum, Seniors Programming, Royalty)

Santaquin City has invested heavily into its Public Safety by ensuring the Police Department has competitive wages that are comparable to an ever-increasing market average.  New vehicles, equipment and training have been added to enhance officer safety.  The city has also invested into its paramedic rated Fire/EMS Department with new vehicles (e.g. Structure Engine, Ambulance and Brush Truck - currently on order) and additional staffing to provide daytime coverage as well as training opportunities.  

Great investment has also been made into Providing Essential Services.  Santaquin City has a state-of-the-art Water Reclamation Facility that reuses 100% of the city’s sewer effluent into the city’s pressurized irrigation system (more than 1 billion gallons reused in the first five years if its operation.)  The city also has a fully metered secondary pressurized irrigation system.  Lastly, the city is investing in transportation projects to provide much needed connectivity to ensure public health and safety as well as economic development (e.g. Extension of Summit Ridge Parkway to US-6 Main Street, Extension of Highland Drive to the South Interchange, Extension of 200 North and 500 East to open up the Orchard Lane Business District, etc.)

Since 2011, Santaquin City has been working to widen Main Street to support the Orchard Lane Economic Development Area.  City staff has also been directed to work on an Agritourism Economic Development effort for the area surrounding I-15 Exit 242 (Summit Ridge).  Lastly, with the extension of Summit Ridge Parkway to Main Street, the city will be working to develop a business park for job creation on the city’s western border.

In recent years, Santaquin City has begun to invest more heavily into its Quality of Life programs.  In 2017, an additional full-time Sports Coordinator position was added.  In 2018, a full-time Field Maintenance position was also added along with three seasonal Field Maintenance workers and a Front Desk Receptionist.  In 2019, the Leisure Services Director position was reinstated along with two additional 29/hour per week positions that will support recreation and events.  However, community surveys have requested additional investment into such things as an indoor pool and recreational facility; plans of which are being developed for the consideration of the voters of the community.

How will operational deficits be covered?

In FY2018-2019, which ended June 30, 2019, the Santaquin City General Fund ended the fiscal year with revenue over expenses of $255,545.  Added to the $1,098,638 reserve fund balance, the City will have a healthy rainy day fund of $1,354,183 or 22% of its next year’s anticipated revenues (State maximum reserve balance is 25%). 

If the proposed project is approved by the voters in November 2019, it is anticipated that bonding (2 Months), Design (6-8 Months) and Construction (12-18 Months) will take 2-3 years to complete before the facility becomes operational.

1: Establishment of an Operational Budget Buffer:

To create an immediate operational buffer for the proposed facility, it is proposed that the General Fund operational proceeds for the next three fiscal years be transferred into a newly created Recreation/Aquatics Center fund.  This should provide an operational buffer/balance of roughly $750,000 to cover short-term operational deficiencies.

2: Economic Development:

It is anticipated that the ground-breaking of the new grocery store will take place in early fall of 2019.  As of the writing of this response, an exact date has not been announced; however the project plans have been reviewed and approved by the city and the project was bid out to contractors to commence construction. 

It is anticipated that this anchor business will draw in more business to the many small and midsized pad sites that front I-15 and US-6 Main Street.  Added businesses will generate increased sales taxes, property taxes and create jobs. 

Furthermore, the proposed location of the Recreation/Aquatic Center includes six pad sites for future commercial businesses.  The amount of traffic generated by the facility, along with the added traffic from the extension of Summit Ridge Parkway will make the commercial locations in front of the proposed facility an ideal location for commercial development. The increased traffic along Main Street will also enhance our existing Main Street businesses. 

Lastly, having the proposed facility located so close to the future West Side Business Park (along Summit Ridge Parkway and Main Street) will create an inviting quality of life amenity that large employers may consider when evaluating where to locate, relocate or expand their business.  Prospective employers and prospective residents often consider such things as the quality of local schools and recreational amenities when evaluating prospective relocation sites.

It is anticipated that all of these combined efforts will enhance Santaquin City’s future revenues from expanded property taxes, sales taxes and job creation.  Economic development efforts becomes a second possible revenue stream to meet long-term operational investments into the proposed facility.

3: Projections vs. Actuals:

With any pre-election projections, it is prudent and conservative to estimate revenues low and expenditures high.  However, actual financial transactions can often significantly vary from original projections.  For Example:

Springville City Pool:


 Springville Operations Pro-Forma 

CLICK HERE for Springville Recreation Bldg Financial Statement 

Ultimately, projections are educated estimates and may or may not materialize into actual budget deficits or budget surplus.  In the case of Springville City and Provo City, their pools are running without budget deficits.

4: Participation from Neighboring Communities:

While the complexity, politics, control, legal requirements, and financial investment of setting up a regional district was not initially pursued due to the timing and effort involved, if Santaquin City voters choose to approve the proposed project, another option to cover potential budgetary deficits would be to invite neighboring communities to participate through the formation of a regional recreation district.  Increasing the number of households has the potential of spreading the risk of loss over a great pool of participants. 

5: Extended Duration of General Fund Transfers (if needed)

Over the long-term, if costs exceed revenues on an annual basis, a long-term annualized investment from the General Fund may become necessary to cover budgetary deficits.  Such is the case for every department of the City except Water, Sewer and Pressurized Irrigation.


Do other Recreation/Aquatics Centers make or lose money?

Many cities with a smaller population such as Mt. Pleasant, Gunnison and Kamas operate Recreation/Aquatic Centers.  Cities such as Nephi, Manti and Lindon operate outdoor pool facilities.  There are many factors, which contribute to the operational profitability of a given facility.  Such things include efficient design, which can dramatically reduce the number of lifeguards needed to manage the facility.  The following table illustrates the income or (investment) needed to operate a facility:


What are Payson City’s true operational costs?

There has been some confusion regarding Payson City’s operational costs.  This was caused because Payson City included their “Principal Debt Service Payments” within their budget document’s operational table. 

Definition:  An Operating Expense vs. a Capital Expense

  • An operating expense is an expense required for the day-to-day functioning of a business/government.
  • In contrast, a capital expenditure is incurred when a business/government spends money, uses collateral or takes on debt to either buy a new asset or add to the value of an existing asset with the expectation of receiving benefits for longer than a single year.

Payson's Numbers

When the debt payments are removed, the average annual investment from their General Fund to invest in their pool’s operational budget is $78,604/year (i.e. 4-year average from FY2014-FY2018 as listed on the Utah State Auditor’s website under Payson City)

Note:  It is important to note that it is not an accurate comparison to evaluate Payson City’s outdoor pool against Santaquin City’s proposed Recreation/Aquatic Centers as they are two entirely different offerings (e.g. comparing Apples to Oranges).  For Example:

  • Outdoor Pool vs. Indoor Pool (Partial year operations affected by weather vs. unimpeded year round operations)
  • Mostly Day Passes vs. Membership Passes (Again, partial year operations affected by weather vs. unimpeded year round operations)
  • Pool Only vs. Recreation & Pool (Courts, Track, Cardio/Weights, Banquet Hall, etc.)

How many jobs will the proposed Recreation/Aquatics Center create?

It is anticipated that the facility will create three full-time positions (i.e. Recreation/Aquatics Center Manager, Assistant Manager over Recreation, Assistant Manager over Pool).  It is also anticipated to create nearly 200 part-time positions, including but not limited to, front desk attendants, child care attendants, recreation attendants, aerobics instructors, head lifeguard, life guards, custodians/building attendants, aquatics program instructors, etc.

What are the projected economic development benefits of this project, and who provided this information?

Initially, the only economic development consideration of building a Recreation/Aquatic Center was in relation to improving Santaquin City’s overall Quality of Life.  Having worked with large businesses as they consider a site to relocate their business (job creation), a common question is “What does your community offer for my employees and their families (i.e. Recreational Programs, Parks and Trails, and Cultural Opportunities?)” Large employers want to know that their employees have something to do and that they will be happy in this new community.  Having a Recreation/Aquatics Center helps to fulfill this expectation, which is similar to having good curb appeal when trying to sell a home.

With the selection of the Ercanbrack Building as the proposed location for the Recreation/Aquatics Center on the west side of Main Street, a number of residual economic development considerations were identified.  They include:

  • Western Expansion of the Main Street Commercial District – With the development of the proposed facility and the new intersection created by the extension of Summit Ridge Parkway to US-6 Main Street, the Main Street Commercial District will expand to the west.
  • Providing an Anchor or Destination on the west which will draw traffic down Main Street past our Main Street Businesses (e.g. Helping our current businesses to thrive and inviting new businesses to consider Santaquin’s Main Street).
  • Centrally Located in between the Core Area of Santaquin and Summit Ridge, this facility will not only bridge these two communities, it will provide an amenity very close to the planned Santaquin City Business Park at the intersection of US-6 Main Street and the Summit Ridge Expansion.
  • Job Creation – The staff needed to support the proposed Recreation/Aquatics Center will necessitation the creation of approximately 200 jobs (3 full-time and 200 part-time).  It is projected that the total salary and benefits of those employees would be approximately $705,000 annually.  Those are dollars that would be paid to employees who live, work and shop in Santaquin City.
  • Beatification – The western side of Santaquin could use improved curb appeal and beautification. By giving a new face to an old structure, improving the road network and enhancing the landscaping, property values will likely increase as well as the overall community pride of Santaquin City.

Before and after

  • Provides Six Commercial Pad Sites – The site location includes six proposed commercial pad sites. With the amount of traffic created by this facility, it is anticipated that these pad sites would develop rapidly.  Patrons of the Recreation/Aquatics Center will want to purchase food/beverages on the way to or from using the center.  Products could be offered, such as sporting goods and apparel that would likewise support the patrons that utilize the facility.  It is anticipated that with the development of these pad sites there would be increased sales taxes, property taxes and job creation.(See Commercial Pad Sites Below)


*The aforementioned information was provided by the city staff and will be verified or modified by Santaquin City’s financial advisers, Zions Bank Public Finance, prior to the mailing of the ballots on October 15, 2019.  

Do Seniors Get Free Recreation/Aquatics Center Memberships?


“SilverSneakers is a fitness program for seniors that’s included with many Medicare Advantage plans. SilverSneakers helps millions of people on Medicare defy the odds, shatter stereotypes and answer every challenge with, I can do this!”   For more information on the program, please go to

 Silver Sneakers

* Seniors citizens who have a Medicare Advantage Plan and/or other eligible supplemental plans such as “Renew Active” or “Select Health’s Direct Reimbursement Program”, which is majority of the seniors in Utah, will be able to obtain free memberships to the proposed Santaquin Recreation/Aquatics Center once the Santaquin facility has been added to their list of 16,000 eligible locations.

I do not plan to use the facility, how could it benefit me?

Even if you do not use the pool, courts, recreational facilities, you may attend town hall meetings, weddings, parties and performances, the facility may also bring Economic Development benefits to the entire community.

  • Western Expansion of the Main Street Commercial District – With the development of the proposed facility and the new intersection created by the extension of Summit Ridge Parkway to US-6 Main Street, the Main Street Commercial District will expand to the west.
  • Providing an Anchor or Destination on the west which will draw traffic down Main Street past our Main Street Businesses (e.g. Helping our current businesses to thrive and inviting new businesses to consider Santaquin’s Main Street).
  • Centrally Located in between the Core Area of Santaquin and Summit Ridge, this facility will not only bridge these two communities, it will provide an amenity very close to the planned Santaquin City Business Park at the intersection of US-6 Main Street and the Summit Ridge Expansion.
  • Job Creation –The staff needed to support the proposed Recreation/Aquatics Center will necessitation the creation of approximately 200 jobs (3 full-time and 200 part-time).  It is projected that the total salary and benefits of those employees would be approximately $705,000 annually.  Those are dollars that would be paid to employees who live, work and shop in Santaquin City.


How will Santaquin City get the information out before the November Vote? Will information be available to everyone?

The City will do everything in its power to get all available information into the hands of the voters before October 15th, which is the date that ballots are mailed by Utah County.  The communication mediums the city plans to use include:

Town Hall Meetings – There will be five town hall meetings on the proposed Recreation/Aquatics Center where project information will be provided.  Equal time will be given to a guest speaker who will speak in opposition to the project and a guest speaker who will speak in support of the project.  A questions and answers period will be provided at the end of the meeting and will continue until time runs out.  Answers to any questions not immediately addressed will be provided in the next town hall meeting as well as on the City Website.  Town hall meetings will utilize Facebook Live so that residents can view the meeting electronically at a time that is convenient for them.

City Website – The City Website will be the central repository for all questions and answers.  The website will be updated regularly as new questions arise.  Links to any supporting documentation will be included on the website as well.

Mailers – The City will provide a minimum of two mailers to every residence in the community.  The first will be a comprehensive informational document that will also have equal space available for arguments in support and arguments in opposition to the proposed project.  The second mailer will be the Official Voter Information pamphlet, which will be drafted following specific State Code requirements.

City Newsletter – The September-November editions of the City Newsletter will share informational aspects regarding the project, which will also invite the public to learn more by either attending town hall meetings or by referring readers to the City Website.

Videos – In addition to the Facebook Live versions of the Town Hall Meetings, common questions and answers will be provided on social media in video format following our model of “Santaquin Question of the Week”.  All videos will refer viewers to go to the City Website where they can learn more.

Senior Citizen Presentation – The Senior Citizen Department has invited city staff to attend their upcoming lunch on September 26th, where project information will be shared directly with our community’s seniors.

Local Neighborhood/Living Room Meetings: During the hotly contested Sewer Treatment Plant Vote of 2011, many residents invited city officials into their living rooms and hosted small neighborhood gatherings where the smaller venue allowed for more of a dialog about project concerns and related questions.  Regardless of the host’s support or opposition to the project, city staff made every effort to schedule and attend every invitation that was extended.

Open Public Invitation – If you have a desire to host a small gathering of concerned neighbors in your home and would like to have a city official attend, please contact Benjamin Reeves, City Manager, at or by calling 801-754-3211 x205 to schedule the event.

Other:  If there are any recommendations regarding alternative modes of communication, please email your suggestions to Benjamin Reeves, Santaquin City Manager, at or by calling 801-754-3211 x205

Why does it appear that the city has been reluctant to share information in the past?

Santaquin City understands the public concerns and apologizes for perceptions that it may have appeared that the city was reluctant to share information. Please know that it has always been the intent of Santaquin City to provide accurate, complete, and transparent information to the public prior to the mailing of ballots on October 15, 2019. 

However, in order to provide information that is accurate, complete, and transparent, time was needed to compile said information.  A schedule of town hall meetings, mailers, and public meetings was established in early July.  It was always the intent to provide that public information during the first town hall meeting scheduled on August 28th

While we would have liked to have provided information much earlier, capital and operations cost estimating were actively being compiled throughout the month of August.  The information gathered required further consideration by the Recreation Board and City Council before a determination was made with regard to the overall budget of the proposed project and the timing of placing this proposal before the voters for their consideration.

Please accept our apologies. The information uploaded and presented on August 28th, will continue to be enhanced as additional information becomes available.


What is the history of the Recreation Committee’s conversion to an Official Recreation Board and how does State Code address these changes?

After the 2017 Election in which the proposed Community Cultural Center (CCC) did not meet voter approval, a group of concerned citizens gathered and formed themselves into a Recreation Committee.  Their purpose was to propose an alternative to the CCC that would be recreationally based.  This committee was not an official board or committee of the city and did not post agendas or meeting minutes.  However, on occasion, they did invite city staff members to participate.   

To assist in their research, the committee approached the City Council asking the city to invest in surveying capability.  This request was granted and Santaquin City entered into a contact with Qualtrics.  With support from city staff, surveys were conducted and the results were shared with the committee and the council.  Those results illustrated a community desire for a pool.  As such, additional research was conducted and a tour of neighboring aquatics centers was taken by committee members, city staff members and a member of the City Council.  The initial tour included the pools in Mt. Pleasant, Manti, Gunnison, Richfield and Nephi.

Based upon the survey results, research, and tours, the committee asked the City Council to consider placing a Recreation/Aquatics Center on the November 2018 ballot (See the hand drawn rendering of the proposed facility below provided by Jessica Tolman). 

Early Rendering

Initially, the City Council asked the committee to consider obtaining signatures to place the proposal on the ballot.  However, with the prior year’s election defeat of the proposed CCC due in part to a plan that was not completely fleshed out, and upon deeper reflection, the City Council asked if the committee would hold off until the November 2019 election.  The council desired to have an additional year to study the issue and put together a much more in-depth plan for the voters to consider.  Pursuant to this request, the City Council committed that if the committee was willing to wait, that they would put the proposal before the voters in 2019 for their consideration without obtaining signatures.

The committee accepted this offer from the City Council and, at the request of the council, refocused its efforts to obtain public support of the Recreation, Arts & Parks (RAP) Tax proposition to provide additional funding for our recreational programs. This proposition appeared on the November 2018 ballot and was approved by the voters.

In time, the city recognized that the committee would benefit from having official meetings, agendas and minutes, which could provide a history of decisions made and actions taken.  In 2019, Santaquin City formally reconstituted and reorganized its official Recreation Board for this purpose.  Several members of the committee were asked to participate on this board.  Other board members were chosen to provide diversity on the board by having representation from various sporting groups (e.g. baseball, basketball, soccer, etc.)  This board continues to this day. As a formally organized board of the city, agendas are posted and minutes are now taken. The Recreation Board has the following members: 

Jessica Tolman              Chair

Chad Finch                  Vice-Chair

David Harris                Board Member

Josh Nielson               Board Member

Leslie Miller                 Board Member

Sara Olson                  Board Member

Nick Miller                   Council Representative

Why were the Recreation Board’s Meeting Minutes not on the City’s website?

The official Recreation Board of Santaquin City was reconstituted and reorganized in January of 2019.  Since this date, all meetings have been posted and minutes were captured for all meetings.  However, with the training of new personnel, a step was inadvertently missed, which was the uploading of those meeting minutes on to the Santaquin City website. 

Mr. Brad Gunnell contacted City Manager Reeves on August 12th, 2019 making him aware of the oversite.  Mr. Reeves contacted the necessary city staff members and had all of the meeting minutes uploaded on to the City Website within 30 minutes of being made aware of the issue.  Mr. Reeves has provided training to city staff members as well as enhanced the overall process of file uploads to ensure this mistake does not take place in the future.  Mr. Reeves contacted Mr. Gunnell as soon as the meeting minutes were uploaded.

We are truly sorry for this mistake and oversight.  As soon as we were made aware, the issue was immediately resolved.  This was not a malicious act.  Rather it was simply a mistake that was immediately remedied.

Why did the City Council decide to enter into a Purchase Option Agreement for the Ercanbrack Building while in St. George and with the public invited?

Each year, members of the Santaquin City Council have the opportunity to attend two annual training events provided by the Utah League of Cities and Towns (  The spring conference is held in St. George and the fall conference is held in Salt Lake City. For the April 2019 Conference, three members of the council, the mayor, and the city manager were in attendance.

At time this conference was held, the city was in active negotiations to secure the Ercanbrack property under a “Purchase Option Agreement” (very similar to a homebuyer putting money in escrow for the purchase of a new home).  This purchase option agreement was time sensitive since Mr. Ercanbrack had other interest in his property and another offer available.  (Santaquin City recently learned that the other offer was from a developer who wanted to build a 22-acre high-density housing development). 

A special meeting was needed to approve this time sensitive agreement and secure the property. With a majority of the council in St. George already gathered for training, the meeting was scheduled to take place at a conference room in their hotel.  This was merely scheduled this way out of convenience for our traveling elected leaders. 

However, the Santaquin City Council Chamber, 275 West Main Street was open and available to the public that wanted to listen to the conference call that was broadcast in the chamber.  Alternatively, the public could have attended in person in St. George, if so desired, though not necessarily practical.

The meeting was properly posted pursuant to State statute with more than 24-hours notice.  In accordance with Santaquin City Code, the meeting was conducted as an electronic meeting.  Mayor Hunsaker, Council Members Broadhead and Montoya attended in person along with City Manager Reeves.  Council Members Miller, Rowley and Mecham (who unexpectedly needed to leave the conference an evening early) attended the meeting by conference call.  Suzy McDowell, Administrative Assistant to City Manager Reeves, participated from the Santaquin City Council Chambers where the meeting was broadcast by conference call.

Meeting minutes of the 04/27/2019 Special Council meeting were taken by a transcript service provider that was used to host the conference call provider.  (See attached minutes)

CLICK HERE for 04/27/2019 City Council Minutes

Why did we secure the proposed property? How much does that option agreement cost and how are we paying for that expense?

The Santaquin City Council desired to secure a “Purchase Option Agreement” on the property for various reasons.  Some of those reasons included the location because it is an ideal site on Main Street near the future extension of Summit Ridge Parkway (a nexus between two of our three major neighborhoods), repurposing an existing structure could allow for a facility with three times the square footage for an additional 50% of the cost of new construction, and it would provide a large enough venue to meet the amenities requested as identified in the surveys.

Santaquin City ordered a commercial appraisal of the property (see below) which illustrated that the building, and the immediate 2.72 acres of property under the building, was valued at $2,300,000.  The remainder of the property was appraised at $1.35/sf. 

CLICK HERE to view Appraisal of Property

Based upon the desire for the property and the results of the commercial appraisal, Santaquin City offered to enter into a Purchase Option Agreement for the appraised price of $2.3M.  This agreement was accompanied by a memorandum of understanding regarding the establishment of the additional acreage needed by the city for field space, landscaping, parking and roads.  The additional acreage needed could not be determined at the time of entering into the Purchase Option Agreement until a site layout could be developed.  However, a shared understanding of the value of the additional acreage was also referred to the appraised price of $1.35/sf. 

In exchange for taking the property off the market, Santaquin City agreed to pay Mr. Ercanbrack $15,000/month.  Should Santaquin City choose to exercise the option to purchase the building, 100% of the monthly payments will be deducted from the purchase price of the property.  If Santaquin City decides to not purchase the building, the city would forfeit its monthly payments.

Ultimately, the City Council did not want to invest any public funds into conceptual designs, bonding, or preparing for an election without first securing the property to ensure that such an investment would not be lost through a sale to another party.

Note:  As of August 28th, the first town hall meeting, Mr. Randall Ercanbrack has announced that he is willing to donate the additional acreage needed for the development of the facility as well as acreage needed by the city for all roads.  This donation towards the Recreation/Aquatics Center will save Santaquin City approximately $310,500 in land costs

If the bond does not pass, what happens to the proposed property and the money the City has paid to hold it through the election?

Santaquin City has the option to purchase the Ercanbrack property on or before March 31, 2020.  If the ballot proposal is approved by the voters, Santaquin City will close on the bonds and exercise its purchase option and 100% of the monthly option payments paid will be deducted from the $2.3M purchase price of the property.  If the ballot proposal is not approved by the voters, the Santaquin City Council will have several options to choose from:

1 - Terminate the Option Agreement and lose all rights to the monthly option payments made prior to the date of termination;


2 - Exercise the Option by funding the purchase of the property through an alternative means of financing (non-General Obligation Bond funding) and…
A. Retain the property for future use;
B. Flip the property to regain its historic monthly investment.

Click the titles of the following documents to view the Purchase Option Agreement and/or Memorandum of Understanding

What was the other offer that Mr. Ercanbrack passed by when the City put the building under contract and did Santaquin lose a business opportunity?

Mr. Ercanbrack indicated that the other offer was for the full 24 acres of property from a high-density developer who wanted to build a multi-family development of approximately 15 units to the acre.  He further indicated that although he would make less money, he greatly preferred the City’s proposed project and the potential benefits it could bring to the community.

Why is the City pushing this so hard?

After a group of residents formed themselves into a Recreation Committee, completed research, toured facilities, and surveyed the community, the City Council committed to put a proposed Recreation Center on the ballot in November of 2019.  After settling on the Ercanbrack Building and placing that building under a purchase option agreement so that conceptual designs could be created, timing and cost of the designs and the option agreement further encouraged the City Council to choose the November 2019 ballot.  Without significantly increasing preliminary costs to hold the property and to fully complete the design, there is not a compelling reason to wait an additional year.  In short, this is a community driven project which has become time sensitive.  Thus there is a citywide push to have this project ready for the voter’s consideration in November 2019.

What answers might the City not have before the election?

Exact Costs (beyond forecasted projections):

Santaquin City has invested in the development of conceptual plans, site layout plans, and renderings of the proposed facility.  Those conceptual plans have allowed the city to also forecast capital construction costs as well as operational cost. 

To obtain exact costs, the city would need to invest approximately $500K in the architectural designs of the project and put the project out to bid.  Making such a large investment without voter approval would put the investment at risk.  As such, it would not be a wise use of taxpayer dollars.

To-date, Santaquin City has invested sufficient funding to provide the maximum amount of information possible for the voting public to consider the Recreation/Aquatics Center Proposal in November without potentially losing resources by over investing.

State of the Economy:

The future state of the economy is always unknown.


In addition to the aforementioned, city staff will be working to enhance and solidify the financial projections by reviewing and comparing its projections with actual financials from neighboring recreation centers.  The city will also work to answer any and all questions posed by the public to the very best of its abilities within the financial constraints imposed by the City Council (e.g. the investment into full design is not warranted unless the project is first approved by the public). 


How did the city pay for the new Soccer Field Project near Summit Ridge?

The Soccer Field Project was paid for entirely by previously collected Park Impact Fee dollars which comes from the building permits of new home construction. This is the first phase of a multi-phase facility  which was originally bid out at $945,241.  However, due to increases in new home construction, funds became available to add lighting, bathrooms and fencing.  The total cost of phase 1 is approximately $1.2M paid with funds on hand.

Is this all the idea of the City Manager and is he pushing his personal agenda?

Santaquin City Council Meeting Minutes of August 20, 2019:

“So I want to make something very clear, that Ben (City Manager, Benjamin Reeves) has only done what the Council and Mayor have asked him to do and the Council has only done what residents have asked us to do. So if this issue does not pass (meaning the bond), it does not mean that we as City Leaders and Staff have failed, because we have exactly done our job.” – City Council Member Betsy Montoya

As a City Manager, Benjamin Reeves works at the pleasure and direction of the Mayor and City Council Members.  While in many respects, he is the voice of the council once direction has been set, the decisions of the people’s elected representatives are their own. 

Thus far, the vote to secure the property from Mr. Ercanbrack was a 5-0 vote of the council.  Selecting Ron Jones of WPA Architecture to create the conceptual designs and site layout was a 5-0 vote of the council.  Notifying the Lt. Governor of Santaquin City’s intent to place this on the November 2019 ballot by the May deadline was a 5-0 vote of the council.  Lastly, actually placing this proposal on the November 2019 ballot was a 4-1 vote of the council. As such, Mr. Reeves is clearly working for, and on behalf of, the Santaquin City Mayor and Council

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