2 Yes Votes=Major park improvements

2+Yes+Votes%3DMajor+park+improvements

Joia Traver, Co-Editor

Mountain Home High Schoolers can use their voice in the next big election for the city. Students over the age of 18 have the opportunity to exercise their voting rights, and others can influence a large decision for the town.

“We have a lot of students that are 18 that live in the city limits, and if they have registered to vote, they can vote again,” says Danielle Pugsley, the president of the Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce who has been on the Community Center planning since the beginning. 

The proposed Mountain Home Community Center will be voted on in the first couple of weeks of March, with the early voting opening at 7:30 on March 2nd. The election day for the facility will be on March 9th at three different polling places in town. 

This community center would include an indoor aquatic center, an outdoor waterpark, and the facility itself. Breaking it down further, the aquatic center would have both a lap pool and a kids pool in addition to a therapy pool. The outdoor water park would include a lazy river, zipline, dive pool, and multiple slides. A new gymnasium would also be included in this, with three basketball courts and a running/walking track. Lastly, the final new building would be the community center itself, housing multi-purpose event spaces and an aerobics room. 

“The best benefit is having somewhere to go and to be active with your friends. If it passes, you have a safe and secure place to do it. With the parks improvements plan, people can enjoy the updated features,” explains Pugsley.

On top of the new buildings, this plan would also refurbish other community parks and centers as well. The popular Cooper Park would be upgraded with a splash pad, new playground, and frisbee golf. The dog park would also get a doggie splash pad and a new sidewalk. Many other parks including Kellar Park, Clysta Willett, and the Youth Center would get upgrades as well. 

“We can only compete at pools in different towns such as Batesville and Pocahontas. It would be really great to have a place that our family and friends can watch us swim, plus there would be a lot more room to practice and get better for the future swimmer generations,” Aidan Wilson states, a member of the MHHS Swim Team. 

The positive possibilities for this plan are endless. Many High School sports teams could use this facility for practice, intramurals, and competitions that will invite community members to watch athletes that they wouldn’t usually get to watch. For example, the HS Swim Team can only go compete at away swim meets, the closest being Batesville. With this renovation, people will be able to support sports that they haven’t been able to before. 

A popular opposing side to this plan is the concern of tax rates and the expense. The proposed rate for tax is a .75 increase, .5 for paying off bonds, and .25 for ongoing park maintenance. In the future retrospect, if a person spends $500 monthly, the tax would be $3.75 per month as well. 

“Sometimes adults forget about the students and their voice and their opinion, and it would be great to get the student perspective,” Pugsley explains when discussing the impact kids have on their community.

So what can students do if they aren’t able to vote yet? One of the most important things kids have is a voice. Spreading this information to those who can vote can impact the decision more than students think. The Facebook page “2YesVotesforMH” is requesting that city members send in a 30-second video explaining to the public why they need a facility like this. 

Visit https://www.cityofmountainhome.com/upages.php?id=203 for more information.