You may have noticed the trailers on site last week and we are pleased to announce that financing has been secured for the Wheatlands Recreation Center. This project has been years in the making beginning with the purchase of the property and a zoning code change to allow nonprofit recreation facilities as a permitted use for this site. Then by creating a separate authority, a contract with the bank was negotiated for a loan to create a beautiful facility for our residents. We appreciate everyone who came to public input meetings in the past and attended the most recent open house. The District wants to be very transparent with the project and communication. We look forward to continuing to update the community on the project progress. Please come to any of our board meetings to discuss it. They are open to everyone and we are here to represent and serve you.
Who owns the land and the building?
The Wheatlands Metro District established a separate legal entity called the Wheatlands Park and Recreation Authority. The Wheatlands Metro District sold the property to the Wheatlands Park and Rec Authority, and the Wheatlands Park and Rec Authority will finance, construct, own and operate the recreation center. This allows the Metro District to not have the facility debt on its balance sheet and also gives the liability of the facility over to the Wheatlands Park and Rec Authority.
Who is on the Wheatlands Park and Rec Authority Board?
The Wheatlands Park and Rec Authority Board has three members. A majority of the board members are Wheatlands residents. These board members are acting in the best interest of our community and their goal is to represent us and lead the project.
How can we afford the center?
$45 of the $65 a month that you currently pay goes towards park and recreation. This money combined with transfers from the general fund was used to construct the new Community Park and complete other recreation projects in the past. With the park nearing completion, the District board has negotiated to have $35 per month go towards the Wheatlands Park and Rec Authority to allow every household family passes to the facility. The YMCA has contributed financially to the center, and the land also acts as collateral for the Wheatlands Park and Rec Authority loan.
Will my monthly fees go up?
The board has no plans to raise fees at this time and works hard to budget correctly to keep our monthly fees low. That being said, fees can always go up as expenses for the community continue to rise and as costs continue to increase.
What if we don’t think the YMCA is managing the facilities properly?
The YMCA has a vested interest in managing the property correctly. However if the Wheatlands Park and Rec Authority believes the YMCA is not managing it according to the contract, they can terminate the contract and hire a different management company.
How is the revenue or profit used?
The revenue from the recreation center will go back to the Wheatlands Park and Rec Authority to be used to pay down the loans for building the recreation center as well as fund the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the facility. The Wheatlands Park and Rec Authority will pay a fixed 4% management fee and a contingent Incentive Fee to the YMCA to run the day to day operations of the recreation center.
How will this facility be viable with the proposed Aurora rec center so close?
As part of the loan process, market research on the area was completed by an independent third party. The report concluded that the market is large enough to support both projects. The bank is also fully aware of the Aurora Rec Center project and moved ahead with the financing.
Why was this project started in the first place?
The community has been in favor of it and had expressed the need for additional recreation facilities and amenities for our residents.
Will the YMCA continue to manage the clubhouse and pool?
The contract with the Wheatlands Metro District is independent of the contract with the Wheatlands Park and Rec Authority. At this time, the Wheatlands Metro District Board has no plans to hire a different property management company.
Will the YMCA Day Camps continue up at the Wheatlands Clubhouse?
Once the new facility is built the camps will transition to the recreation center.
What is the cost to build the recreation center?
The first phase of the facility will cost $21 million.
Is there any proactive plan for dealing with extra traffic?
Traffic studies were required as part of the approval process with the City of Aurora. At this time, there is not enough traffic to put in a traffic light or cross walk. The Wheatlands Metro District plans on continuing discussions with the City after the recreation center is open to evaluate traffic to see if the minimum traffic counts are met to install a crosswalk or light.