By AMANDA GRAY
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Concerns about a proposed community center in Goshen were aired during Thursday's City Council session.
During the open forum portion of the meeting, Justin Evers with Eastlake Athletic Club spoke on the concern of local fitness center personnel.
The $35.6 million dollar project, which includes a $27 million community center complete with three pools and fitness areas, has local gym and fitness center owners concerned about competition, Evers said.
“We’re concerned about why there is a need for the fitness center portion of the project,” he told the council. “There are six fitness clubs in Goshen right now... We feel it is almost a slap in the face.”
Kauffman said he didn’t have answers to the question of why there was a need for the fitness center portion. He told Evers to attend the first 2013 meeting of the Goshen City Council on Wednesday, where project director Bruce Stahly will present information on the center.
Stutsman said he has been contacted by several people with concerns similar to Evers’. He asked for community members with opinions on the center to contact him.
The Goshen Community Center must pass two hurdles with the Goshen City Council. The first is allowing the proposed center’s plan to go to a public hearing later in January. If the plan goes to the public hearing, City Council members must then decide whether or not to send it to a public referendum, or vote, in May. The referendum will decide if the project gets public funding in the form of a bond issue from both city officials and Goshen Community Schools.
“I would like to hear from both sides before I make a decision about the center,” Stutsman said. “Some people are asking us to not let it go to referendum, while some are saying that is how the people can decide. I would just like to hear from them.”