Construction on Marshall White project could begin in two years
OGDEN — Despite an approved joint resolution between the Ogden City Council and the Administration on Tuesday regarding the Marshall N. White Community Center, residents who have been waiting for answers on its future will have to wait longer.
While members of the community are happy to see movement on the matter, they have concerns with the recently drafted joint resolution meant to bring clarification to the city’s intentions and timeline for the project.
The administration began drafting the resolution in December 2021, in collaboration with the city council, after Council Chair Ben Nadolski and fellow members pushed for a joint resolution in an attempt to move the project forward.
Ogden residents expressed their concerns about the resolution in their three minutes of allotted time during the public input portion of Tuesday’s council meeting prior to the vote, which was unanimously approved by a vote of 7-0.
“It’s great to get something in writing to look at,” said Suzanne Dailey. But she is concerned Ogden residents are going to end up with a facility different from what they think they are going to get.
“What we voted on as Ogden residents was a new facility in the same location,” said David Zimmerman.
For Nadolski, part of the process is knowing what the city can afford, so they can improve as much as possible. With recommendations in the works, the city is not ready to make specific plans, yet.
Nadolski is hopeful the resolution is a step in the right direction. Heath Satow, an Ogden resident, commended some council members for speaking up on the lack of progress. Satow claims a member of the Ogden City Planning Commission was removed from the project for speaking up to Mayor Mike Caldwell.
Echoing the sentiments of those who spoke before him, Satow is troubled by certain words and ambiguous statements in the resolution. Words such as “and/or” and “minimum” leave too much for interpretation, according to Satow.
He does not believe there will be any meaningful progress made on the MWC until Caldwell leaves office in January 2024 — the same year the council and administration has set to begin construction on the center.
“The goal of the City Council and Administration is to begin construction on a new or renovated Marshall N. White Community and Recreation Center no later than April 2024,” reads the joint resolution.
Ogden resident Betty Sawyer joined fellow residents in concerns with the presented timeline fearing they may lose out on financial opportunities resulting in a potential Bond situation.
While Zimmerman is grateful to see a date, he feels as though progress has been put off for so long, another two years is too long.
“I’m still looking for you to show me where your commitment is when it comes to equity, inclusion, diversity and making sure the health and wellness of Ogden is a priority,” he said.
Ogden resident Angel Castillo said the community is watching and they intend to hold the Council accountable for what has been said.