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Sandy Journal

Sandy City Council takes first step toward deciding future of Alta Canyon Sports Center

Nov 08, 2021 03:13PM ● By Justin Adams

Sandy City is one step closer to determining a future for the Alta Canyon Sports Center, after unanimously voting to dissolve its Administrative Control Board. (City Journals file photo)

By Justin Adams | [email protected]

Sandy City is one step closer to figuring out what the future of the Alta Canyon Sports Center will look like. 

On Oct. 19, the council unanimously voted to “revoke all authority previously delegated to the Alta Canyon Recreation Special Service District Administrative Control Board,” effectively dissolving the board in question. So what does that mean?

City Attorney Lynn Pace explained during the meeting, “When a special service district is created, the city council is the governing entity. Anytime the council can delegate some portion of the governing authority to an administrative control board, that authority can also be revoked at any time. Years ago the Sandy City Council delegated certain authority to the administrative control board. Tonight the city council is considering a resolution to revoke that authority previously delegated.”

While the decision to dissolve the board may at first sound like an ill omen for the future of the center, it actually represents the exact opposite. Councilmember Zach Robinson who made the proposal explained his reasoning behind it. 

“I believe that the first step in streamlining is for the Council to take full ownership of governing the AC SSD. The adage ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ applies to the current circumstances surrounding AC,” he wrote in a memo to the city council.

During the meeting he added, “The intention is to do what we can to save the center…We have a great vision for the future of Alta Canyon, and this is the first step down that path.”

Current and former members of the administrative board are supportive of the council’s direction, according to multiple city councilmembers.

“I met with the board as a whole last week. We had some really great discussion. The general feeling from that group of residents was: ‘Do what you can to make the center really great,’” Robinson said. 

City Council Attorney Tracy Cowdell also agreed that it was the correct move.

“It’s the right thing to do,” he said. “It’s clearly time to make a change.”

The decision is the first in an organized timeline created by the council to facilitate an orderly process through which they can determine the future of the center. The structure of the timeline is designed to “focus on smaller and more incremental decisions,” rather than “trying to solve the problem in one fell swoop.”

Determining the optimal governing structure for the center was the first step of that process. With that decision now resolved, the council will turn its attention to perhaps the biggest question of all—funding. 

Questions for consideration laid out in its timeline include: 1. Does the Special Service District remain, change or get dissolved? 2. How should we finance major improvements? 3. What level of improvements are we willing to invest in?

The timeline document specifies June 30, 2022 as the latest completion date for that next decision, so residents can expect much discussion on the topic over the next several months.