PLYMOUTH — The Plymouth City Council narrowly passed a resolution to approve the schematic design plan and authorize design and construction plans for the Plymouth Creek Center renovation and expansion project.
After several hours of discussion from both residents and City Council members, the City Council passed the resolution to move forward with the $51.6 million project to expand the Plymouth Creek Center — which would add gym spaces, a walking track, several community rooms and more — by a 4-3 vote.
The project has seen both support and opposition from the community, with negative and positive comments on the two online surveys and at the two City Council meetings held this year about the project.
The city started working on the project in 2016, conducting a feasibility study and starting community engagement.
The $51.6 million project will be funded with a bond levy tax — affecting residential and commercial property taxes within Plymouth city limits. As currently proposed, the tax would add $75.58 in property taxes to a home valued at $350,000.
The city plans to look at two other options to fund the project — a lodging tax, approved by the state legislature and accepted by the Plymouth City Council on Sept. 10, that will bring in approximately $500,000 a year in revenue. According to City Manager Dave Callister, the lodging tax has to go back to the Minnesota legislature when it is back in session in February.
The city asked the state for $15 million in state bonding to go toward the project. The city will know whether or not it receives state funding around May 2020.
The cost of the project has been the largest complaint from residents who do not want their property taxes to increase.
Residents in support of the project cite the amenities it would bring to the city.
Such amenities would include:
- New community rooms
- 2-3 new gyms
- A walking track
- An indoor playground
- An art gallery
- Art rooms
- Renovated ballroom
- Redesigned black box
Other topics raised by residents testifying during the public comment period included the inclusion of indoor pickleball courts, environmental technology such as solar panels and geothermal heating, questions about user fees for residents and nonresidents and more.
Three Council members voted against the resolution — Jim Prom, Nick Roehl and Alise McGregor. All three cited similar concerns about the project and its timing.
“I am not in support of doing this now,” Prom said at the meeting. “I honestly think we should wait until we do the rest of the things we need to do. I’m not against doing it when we don’t have other things coming down the line. But I will tell you as a Council member for the last five years, it’s surprising how things come up after we make decisions on things.”
Now that the schematic design has been passed, city staff will continue to work with HGA and RJM Construction to finalize construction plans. which will be presented to the City Council at a later date.
The project's website is https://tinyurl.com/yxql7v3y.