HERRIMAN (News4Utah) – A group of residents are fighting to keep the Herriman Community Service Building open after the city council proposed selling the property.
The building served as the former Herriman City Hall, but became the Herriman Community Service Building when city offices moved to a new building on Main Street in August 2017.
“The city council is concerned about the impact to tax payers, having the community center as well as the new building,” said Tami Moody with Herriman City. “The cost to maintain the old community center is over $100,000 per year with no offsetting revenue. The building is old and is in need of significant repairs if it is to remain functional. The roof will need to be replaced, the air conditioning units and areas throughout the building need repairs.”
Michelle Baguley, a 25+ year resident and former Herriman city council member is spearheading a campaign called #SaveHerrimanCommunityCenter on FaceBook. She started a petition that has garnered 250 signatures online. She and several other residents said there are several ways to offset the operations and maintenance costs in a presentation to city council.
“There are at least 20 office spaces in the basement and 12 on the main floor. They could rent each office space for $400 to $800 a month. That would offset the O&M costs,” said Baguley.
Baguley said there are approximately two dozen organizations that would be affected from the sale of the community center, including the Herriman Arts Council, Herriman Orchestra, and Herriman Little League Baseball.
Moody said the new City Hall building could take over the community center’s purposes.
“The new City Hall fills the role of the old community center with plenty of areas that are available for community use. There is also a moderate amphitheater and park area at the new location which is available for use as well,” said Moody.
Baguley argues the City Hall building does meet the community’s needs in the same way as the Herriman Community Service Building.
“There are some difficulties in that the acoustics of the City Hall building are not as good as the community center. The space is more expensive and it’s difficult to access that building after hours,” said Baguley. “If we get rid of the community center, we will lose the opportunity for children to have their piano recitals in a quaint place, our sports clubs to have meetings and sign up their players, and for our arts and history committees to have storage space.”
She also emphasized the building’s historical value.
“This is a historical block of Herriman. This is where everything began. When I was a child, this was the beginning of what we called Fort Herriman Days,” said Baguley. “Everything happened on this block of the city. This is also the footprint of where we voted to incorporate this city so the historical value of this building alone should far exceed the O&M concerns for the future.”
Moody said the city council has not made a decision on the community building yet, but have requested additional research and information from staff to be presented at a future city council meeting.
“In efforts to maintain fiscal responsibility with our taxpayer dollars, the city council is considering all options for the community center. The research that will be presented by staff will include a list of costs associated with continued maintenance of the building, the value the building provides to the community, use options for the building, and any offset in costs that could be considered,” said Moody.
While residents wait, Baguley encourages those who want to save the community center to contact the city council.
“Please write letters to the council. Tell them why you think the community center has value. If the people want government to be closer to the people, the people need to be closer to the government,” said Baguley.