Opposition to proposed rec complex forms as school board to vote Monday

by Nick Wognum
A week before the Ely School Board is set to vote on the issue, opposition has formed on the proposed recreation complex.
A dozen people gathered Wednesday night to express concerns about the project. Those concerns mainly focused on the facility being located on the school campus.
A letter to the editor in this week’s Ely Echo outlines an additional issue, competition with private enterprise.
Adding up the numbers
Roger Skraba asked the group to encourage people to attend Monday’s school board meeting at 6 p.m. and to speak out on separate issues.
“I’m looking at the numbers and I’m saying there’s no way a community this size can make this work,” said Skraba. “We don’t have enough people to pull this off.”
The ERCC pro forma lists yearly expenses of $907,694 and a budgeted loss of $190,414. A planned endowment would be used to cover the losses. After initially indicating the district would contribute $70,000 per year for use of the facilities, that number was reduced to zero.
The pro forma also lists revenues of $446,400 from 930 annual memberships at a cost of $60 per month for a family.
Boitz said those numbers are unrealistic in her 19 years of experience operating Studio North.
Competing with businesses
In her letter, Studio North business owner Nichole Boitz said the project would put her business at risk.
“In a small community it is not fiscally responsible to request state funds for projects that will compete directly with private entities providing services and tax dollars,” said Boitz....

Read the complete article and her lleter and other letters in this week's Ely Echo. On newsstands now.