The Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center has been a popular sports and leisure facility for residents for over 40 years. Discover how the city was able to use the Build America Bond Program to fund much-needed repairs to its aging infrastructure.
>>Jade Leslie: A small community in Utah was recently named one of the top 100 places to live in the United States by Money Magazine. Each year, the population of this community grows and, at the same time, caters to thousands of tourists every ski season. The Cottonwood Heights Parks and Recreation Service Area recently made the decision to issue a bond to help repair and renovate their community Rec Center.
Cottonwood Heights is a small community located at the mouth of two canyons in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is home to over 30,000 residents, world-class ski resorts, and acts as a business hub for national companies like Overstock.com and Jet Blue Airlines.
>>Kelvyn Cullimore Jr.: The Cottonwood Heights Rec Center is a focal point of our community. Our citizens love the amenities. It helps to foster a healthy lifestyle by having these kinds of facilities nearby, and it’s used by citizens of every age group.
>>Jade Leslie: Built in the 1970’s, the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center is over 180,000 square feet and is utilized by many residents and the local school districts.
>>Zoe Potts: Well, we love Cottonwood Heights Rec Center because we’re Cottonwood Heights residents, and so the value and proximity are obviously a big draw.
>>Janet Janke: We have over a million people who utilize this facility every year. It’s beautiful, it’s bright, it’s lightening, and we know this because our memberships are increasing each month, and we’re delighted with the results of our project.
>>Jade Leslie: As the Rec Center continued to age, the 41-year-old facility had structural and safety issues that needed to be considered while planning the budget.
>>Kelvyn Cullimore Jr.: We became aware that there was some aging infrastructure. The boiler itself was really ancient and there was some concern about safety as well as operation with that. The roof itself was in really bad condition – much worse than we knew before they got into actually repairing it.
>>Jade Leslie: In 2010, the Cottonwood Heights Parks and Recreation Service Area held a bond election to determine if the voters wanted to pay to update their recreation facility.
>>Kelvyn Cullimore Jr.: The citizens looked at it and some were obviously concerned. Any time you raise taxes for any reason, there’s going to be a certain amount of concern, but it passed very easily because everybody knew that the management of the Rec Center is excellent.
>>Jade Leslie: To help maintain their budget, the Cottonwood Heights Parks and Recreation Service Area sought guidance from their financial advisor.
>>Alan Westenskow: Zions Bank actually acted as financial advisor to the Service Area for the last 40 years, including their original project that was construction in 1971.
>>Jade Leslie: With the help of Zions Bank Public Finance, the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center was able to access a number of investors during their bond sale, thanks to a program called the Build America Bond Program.
>>Alan Westenskow: What happened when we actually went to market, after they passed their bond election, we went to market and there was a special program that was available at that time, called the Build America Bond Program, that gave access to even more investors than we normally had.
>>Jade Leslie: The Build America Bond Program was attractive to investors for the Cottonwood Heights Parks and Recreation Service Area because these kinds of bonds carry special tax credits and federal subsidies for the bond issuer, and it also gave them an access to a larger number of investors, thus resulting in a potential lower interest rate. The program was only offered for a two-year period and expired at the end of 2010.
After the bond was passed, construction on the new facility started in two phases. Phase one included updates like the roof replacement, boiler replacement, and repairs done to the indoor pools. Phase two included repairs to the outdoor pool, which was leaking over 10,000 gallons of water a day.
>>Mike Peterson: This is the roof structure that’s been totally replaced. You can see with the roof, which is now about seven foot higher, which brings in more light from the double-pane windows
>>Zoe Potts: Taking a half a day on Friday and coming to swim and lay in the sun with friends – can’t think of anything better.