May 7, 2014

Wellness center moving closer to vote

In one more month Beulah residents will have their chance to vote on a proposed Wellness Center, and advocates for the facility are working hard to get the word out on the many positive aspects of it.
Bridgette Martens, park district and Beulah Fit Club manager, has been helping lead the charge on the efforts since they got underway last year. Since that time, Martens and others have been focused on stressing the high need for wellness, not just fitness, in the community. Martens also wanted to clear up a misconception about how the facility would be funded.
“I think there’s some confusion about this being sales tax versus property tax,” she said. “This vote would be for a sales tax increase, not for a property tax increase so everyone coming through Beulah who makes a purchase will be helping pay for this. It would come from restaurants, retail, liquor and lodging.”
If voters decide to pass the one-percent sales tax increase on June 10, that would ultimately bring the current sales tax up by a penny on the dollar. Now, a six percent sales tax on a $100 sale brings in $6 of sales tax. If the vote went in the Wellness Center’s favor that would increase to $7 in sales tax generated off $100 in sales. Infrastructural projects already receiving funding from the current one-percent sales tax wouldn’t be affected, meaning the Beulah Water Park would continue to receive it’s regular share of that funding.
If the vote were to go successfully the Wellness Center Committee would go back to the drawing board with the architects, who would lead them through the next phases.
“We’d go through our programming phase followed by design and construction,” Martens said. “We do have people who will begin a capital campaign funding drive, but that’s waiting on the sales tax vote to move forward - everything depends on it.”
According to Martens, if the sales tax vote passed then a feasibility study would be done.

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