SOUTH JORDAN (ABC4 Utah News) – The future of the Salt Lake County Equestrian Park is coming down the homestretch and it’s neck and neck.
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and the County Council are trying to decide whether to keep the facility as is, improve it or replace it with a regional park and soccer fields.
The 120 acre park has a racetrack, an arena, training facilities and hundreds of stables but also a $1 million a year price tag to taxpayers so now Mayor Ben McAdams and the Salt Lake County Council are deciding to say yay or “neigh”.
“This track’s been around forever,” horse owner and trainer Travis Bleak said. “I grew up here. My uncle used to own these barns over here. The county bought them from him back in like ’93 so I mean I’ve rode here my whole life.”
Patti Thurman brings her horses to the Equestrian Park to train during the winter and teaches dressage.
“I have a junior rider who comes and rides here,” she told ABC4 Utah News. “This is an important park for her.”
Salt Lake County Councilwoman Aimee Winder Newton says she understands how much the Park means to owners and riders.
“We also want to be fair to taxpayers,” Newton said. “And make sure that the money that we’re spending on this is well spent for those who are in Salt Lake County.”
The aging facility needs about $4.5 million dollars worth of improvements. Critics says not enough county residents use the park to justify the expense. Others say it’s overused and too crowded.
“If anything they probably need to build another one as far as I’m concerned,” Wyatt Thurman said. “I pay plenty of taxes and I don’t know where it all goes. This is the one thing I get to use.”
The County will accept online comments through May 6th at http:/bitly.com/EQPark
They expect to make a decision sometime in June.