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Northern Utah water parks are fun, drain taxes
Public service » Government officials point to health benefits, duty to taxpayers.


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Layton said the meter is tied to the surrounding city buildings and landscaping. Merrill Oveson, Layton’s account manager, said once the pool is filled, water is filtered and recycled.

"So there will be very little water usage," Overson said.

At a glance

Three water parks at a glance

Layton » Surf N’ Swim, 465 N. Wasatch Drive. It earns $480,000 in tickets and concessions, and requires almost the same amount every year from the city’s general fund.

Clearfield » Aquatic Center, 825 S. State St. The city annually pays $125,000 from the general fund and makes an $805,920 bond payment.

North Ogden » North Shore Aquatic Center, 245 E. 2550 North. The city gave the center about $4,000 in fiscal year 2012 and is paying about $200,000 a year for a bond.

Source: respective cities

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North Ogden Assistant Park Facility Maintenance Supervisor Ken Young said the city doesn’t charge itself for water, using the analogy of charging yourself to eat at your own home. He did concede that taxpayers pay for the water but could not give a dollar figure.Clearfield Community Services Director Eric Howes said the cost for water comes out of the public works department enterprise fund.

Even if the parks don’t receive a water bill, other costs have Layton resident Chris Crowder, a former candidate for Utah House of Representatives, saying that cities should not be involved in entertainment services such as a water park.

"Those should be privately ran businesses," Crowder said, "and the government should provide just necessary services."

closeup@sltrib.com

Twitter: @sltribDavis




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