GOSHEN — Discussion continued on the proposed Goshen Community Center at the Tuesday, Feb. 19, city council meeting, despite the fact that the referendum vote on the center has been postponed to November.
At Tuesday’s meeting, a resolution was brought before the council that would request Goshen Community Center Inc. to reimburse the city for the costs of the special election, which are estimated to be $58,000.
Council president Jim McKee, who brought the resolution to the council, said he had wanted to word the resolution so that the council would ask, not demand, that the Community Center group cover the election. McKee explained that the resolution was not an act of revenege or spite; he just wanted to take the burden of the special election from taxpayers if possible.
Some discussion came up on comments project director Bruce Stahly made at several presentations regarding the cost of the election. Some gathered noted that Stahly made mention of the cost of the special election being covered by a community member. There was a dispute over whether or not Stahly had stipulated that the cost would only be covered if the council’s vote for the referendum would have failed.
Also a concern was the cost itself. Several council members and residents noted that there had been several estimates put out already, and that the $58,000 that is the current estimate is still just an educated guess.
Councilman Jeremy Stutsman, who said he didn’t support asking the Community Center group to cover the cost of the election, stated that if the cost had been a concern of the council’s, it should have made it known before it voted.
Councilwoman Julia Gautsche noted that she thought it was appropriate to ask the group if they would cover some of the cost but added that she didn’t think doing it by resolution was appropriate.
During the public comment period, Glenn Null voiced his support, saying the Community Center committee needed to “put their money where their mouth was.”
Null, along with several other residents, suggested the council rescind its previous vote to allow the referendum and vote later, as more information becomes available and the election approaches.
The council postponed action on the resolution to have more time to consider options.