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MetroNorth's Letter to the Editor Regarding Proposed Blaine Community Center

Dear Editor: 
Recently our Board of Directors, representing over 700 businesses, passed a resolution opposing the proposed Community Center in Blaine. We wanted to provide some additional information regarding this decision, which was not made lightly. 
We have been following this issue since the Task Force was formed over two years ago. In fact, I, as a resident, was part of the Task Force for quite a while as I was interested in researching the wants and needs of the city. On that note, the citizen members of the Task Force spent a lot of time and energy on this and I thank them for being part of the process. 
Unfortunately, the information currently available about the proposed Community Center is not enough to warrant supporting it. As of this writing, it is unknown if there will be a fitness partner, like a YMCA, who would assist in the construction and operation. The lack of a partner could dramatically affect the cost to build, run, and maintain the Community Center. 
It is also unknown if a Senior Center would be built as part of the Community Center or continue to be its own building on its current site. This too could change the cost, size, and purpose of the proposed Community Center. 
Regarding costs, the online property tax calculator, published on the city’s website, shows that a Blaine business would pay almost twice as much in property taxes as a resident would. For example, a resident with a $300,000 home would pay $95.98/year and an employer with a $300,000 business would pay $173.67/year. There’s also the unknown of the ongoing financial impact to all taxpayers – once the proposed Community Center is built, for example, how much will it cost to maintain? What would the user fees look like? Who is allowed to use it? 
The MetroNorth Chamber is a firm believer in strong communities, but with this many unknowns and with this great of an inequity to businesses, we cannot support this ballot question. 
 




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