Malta community center vote today

Following months of debate, speculation, court decisions and heightened emotion, the issue of enlarging the Malta Community Center, at a cost of $6 million, will finally go to vote.

On Thursday, Dec. 13, from noon to 8 p.m., Malta residents will vote on the expansion of the David R. Meager Community Center. The expansion would also include a multi-purpose gymnasium not only for sports but for fitness, classes, dances, crafts fairs and emergency sheltering. The gym would be designed so that it could be divided up for several activities at once.

The proposed project would add a branch of the Round Lake Library and a multi-use gymnasium at a cost of $6.1 million, of which $2.7 million would be paid from current savings and $3.4 million would be borrowed.

One of the major areas of contention during town board meetings has been the question of whether taxpayers would in any way foot the bill for the project. For weeks, town officials have been sending out fliers, holding public information sessions, and putting up signs to get the word out that the cost of construction, operation and loan repayment would be funded from the town's current annual operating budget.

The town can expand the community center without a town tax, because we have been saving money for many years, said Supervisor Paul Sausville.

"Every alternative and cost has been thoroughly evaluated. The conclusion of our consultants, comptroller and the town board is that the expansion is affordable without town property taxes. We've done our homework; there are no hidden costs here."

Sausville said the five-year capital plan completed earlier this year shows that the entire costs, including debt reduction, operating and maintenance costs, can be funded from reserves, savings and income from dependable future revenue sources such as the sales tax and mortgage taxes.

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