Edina will put $13.2 million into new athletic facilities—a sports dome, an outdoor refrigerated ice rink and Pamela Park playing fields—in order to address recreational shortages.
Edina’s city council voted 4-1 on Monday to proceed with plans for the new facilities. The funding will come from bonds, which are expected to raise annual property taxes on median-valued homes by $60 to $75 per year.
Mayor Jim Hovland said that the cost of the project was “a big gulp for all of us,” according to the Star Tribune, but that new facilities would help Edina stay competitive in attracting young families.
“Demand exceeds supply in so many areas; we need to get going as a community,” he said.
“We are experiencing consistent annual increases in both the numbers of both organized outdoor youth sports activities and the total number of youth participants in these activities,” Edina’s parks and recreation director, Ann Kattreh, wrote in a report to the city council. “We are grappling with both of these forces with a static number of outdoor athletic playing fields and limited financial and physical resources.”
Edina’s athletic organizations have already committed to pay about $95,000 per year for time in the dome, meaning that the city’s operational costs would break even if it could rent out 692 hours.Joni Bennett voted against the proposal, according to the Star Tribune, because she said she thought the the project should be taken to voters in a referendum.