UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) – Tuesday’s election is the moment one central Ohio community has its chance to weigh in on a $54 million project, one that has been under consideration for months by the local government.
That issue is the possibility of a new community center, which is on the ballot posed as an advisory question to gauge public opinion.
There are signs throughout the city voicing opinions on both sides of the issue.
“Ultimately, it’ll be the community that decides whether, you know, it’s a go or not and I think it’s how it should be,” said Upper Arlington resident Julie Smith.
The plan calls for using the old Macy’s in Kingsland and turning it into a seven-story community center for all ages and include office space available for lease.
“Just a place where you can work out, exercise, use a swimming pool, different activities,” said Upper Arlington resident Matt Pacanovsky. “Senior activities like yoga and stuff like that, so I think it would be a great fit for the community.”
“I can’t think of a better way to use that building,” added resident Amy Gross. “I’ve been waiting for something like this to come into Arlington for a while now.”
One person who did not want to go on camera said they’ve voting no, citing concerns such as funding sources, the cost in the long run, traffic in the area, and if a space of that size is needed.
Upper Arlington said there will be no increase in taxes and the project will be covered by a variety of funding sources, including $40 million in long-term debt to be repaid for by hotel tax revenues and rent from office space at the center.
“It’s something for our community to get excited about,” Gross said. “I think it’s well worth the price tag. Again, it’s something that’s going to help us stay healthier and stay more active, all different age groups, and I think when it comes to stuff like that, you can’t put a price tag on that.”