Godfrey seeks funds for velodrome in Ogden

May 27 2010 - 12:00am



OGDEN -- Mayor Matthew Godfrey's administration is asking the city council to set aside $1 million in future capital improvement funds for construction of a velodrome and field house in downtown Ogden.

The request is among several general-fund CIP projects under consideration by the council as part of its fiscal 2011 budget deliberations. The council must adopt the budget by June 22.

The $1 million would be held in reserve and appropriated only when the remaining $14 million needed to build the velodrome, which is a banked bicycle-racing track, and field house is obtained, said John Patterson, the city's chief administrative officer.

The bulk of the funds would come from an $863,000 payment the Swanson Family Foundation made to the city in December derived from the sale of a 100,000-square-foot building in Business Depot Ogden to Nutraceutical International.

Swanson bought the building from the city at below market value in 1997 to serve as a warehouse for equipment associated with its education, environmental and health endeavors, said Blake Wahlen, general manager of Business Depot Ogden. The foundation agreed to repay the city at fair market value for the building when it was resold, said Patterson.

The administration also is requesting that $101,000 set aside by the city council in 2008 for the construction of an ice tower at 25th Street and Kiesel Avenue instead be earmarked for the velodrome and field house. The ice tower project has been cancelled because of a lack of funding.

It hasn't been determined where the remaining $36,000 in CIP funds for the velodrome and field house would come from, said John Arrington, the city's finance manager.

The city council hasn't decided whether earmarking $1 million in CIP funds for the velodrome and field house is the best use of the funds, said Bill Cook, the city council's executive director.

"There are lots of other options (for the funds)," he said.

The earmarking of $1 million will help leverage private donations for the facility slated to be built on about 11 acres west of Wall Avenue and 21st Street, owned by developer Gadi Leshem, said Patterson.

Patterson is confident funds will be obtained from donors, enabling construction to start in spring 2011 and conclude in 2012.

The only financial commitment for the project so far is $2 million pledged by the Easton Sports Development Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting archery.

The city's application for $3 million over six years in RAMP funds for the velodrome and field house was rejected in March.

However, Patterson is optimistic the project still will receive some of the $400,000 set aside by the Weber County RAMP Committee for so called future legacy projects.

The enclosed velodrome and field house would encompass about 170,000 square feet. It will include an archery range, six championship tennis courts and a 250-meter velodrome. The oval within the center of the velodrome could be covered with turf, providing a practice area for Weber State University's football and lacrosse teams. The facility would seat 3,000 spectators and have space to house the Boys & Girls Clubs of Weber-Davis, Patterson has said.

Two of the velodromes nearest to Ogden currently are in Colorado Springs and Boulder, Colo.

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