NORTH OGDEN (ABC4 News) – The brand new Barker Park Amphitheater opened last summer with a fireworks show and a play but not everyone is applauding.
The nearly $2 million-amphitheater just opened up in July and already the city is proposing putting $750,000 in upgrades into it. That doesn’t sit well with some homeowners who told ABC4News they didn’t even want it in the first place.
Nearby residents filed an unsuccessful lawsuit to stop the construction because of concerns about traffic, parking, crowds, and noise.
Kim Christensen lives across the street from the amphitheater.
“It does infringe on our home and our privacy and what we deem sacred in our home,” Christensen said. “They built something that is more suitable for a concert so that’s where we are concerned. If we can hear a play in our home we’re definitely going to hear a concert.”
North Ogden City Attorney Jon Call tells ABC4 the planned fire sprinklers, plumbing, and electrical wiring are Phase Two of a three-year construction timetable. Future phases could include permanent seats, a ticket booth, a concession stand and iron fencing surrounding the venue. It was the vision of former Mayor Brent Taylor who was tragically killed earlier this month while serving with the Army National Guard in Afghanistan and recorded this video last year before his deployment.
“I promise tens of thousands of people will turn out every spring and summer to enjoy the shows that are going to be coming and the performances,” he said on the video. “It’s going to be a gem for our community. I give you my word. Please just give it a chance to work out.”
“It was one of his main projects for the city,” Call said. “He was quite ambitious and got a lot of projects online it’s probably the highest profile one.”
Stefanie Casey’s front door is 300 feet from the stage.
“We still have no idea really what it’s purpose is,” Casey said. “While they’re putting more money into it when there’s no plans for any other events makes no sense.”
At its meeting Tuesday, North Ogden City Council approved the budget for the upgrades. Council members said they will now work toward getting to a grant for the proposed changes. If they don’t receive a grant, they will reassess the situation.
There’s an online petition to half further construction at the Amphitheater: https://www.noamph.com/petition-noa/
Concerning the North Ogden Amphitheater. To the North Ogden City Council: We, the undersigned residents of the community of North Ogden City petition the Council and ask that the continued construction of the North Ogden Barker Park Amphitheater be stopped until further study can be completed regarding unresolved concerns with cost, safety, traffic, sound, freedom of speech, lawsuits and …
There’s also a petition to name the Amphitheater after Mayor Taylor: https://www.change.org/p/rename-the-north-ogden-amphitheater-after-mayor-brent-taylor
Rename the North Ogden Amphitheater after Mayor Brent Taylor