The impacts of PAC Phase II

BRENNA RAMSDEN Columnist

The residents of Brookings and students of South Dakota State University are invited to vote on Tuesday, April 12 regarding the “Community Re-Investment Plan.” The plan will bring an indoor facility to the Brookings community as well as the much anticipated PAC Phase II.

 Some students think that both of these items are awesome–more room in the wellness center and more theatre space in the PAC. But, students may be getting blinded by the “wow” factor.

 I think the expansions on the PAC are much needed and highly anticipated. I am a student who enjoys attending musicals, theatre and Capers each year. I have been at SDSU for five years thinking that sometime soon they will host theater in the PAC. Doner auditorium has served its purpose well, and it is time for an upgrade. For the students, the performers and the attendees, the PAC would serve the purpose better.

 When students are voting for the PAC Phase II they are also voting for many other amenities and upgrades in Brookings.

 The city of Brookings is currently proposing funding for the Community Re-Investment Plan, which includes the PAC. This plan would consist of upgrades to the Swiftel Center, improvements to roads and an indoor recreation facility.

 It turns out that the city of Brookings would need property taxes from residents to pay for the indoor rec center. This would increase property taxes by 45 percent in the city of Brookings.

 Property tax doesn’t mean anything to college students…think again. If you are a student, like me, who lives in an actual house, you can expect your total rent to raise about $400 a year (depending on what your house is appraised at).

 That money I would spend on higher rent could be spent on textbooks, and for what? The indoor rec center would be reserved for the full-time residents of Brookings for a small fee if it is not being used by clubs and rec teams in the community. It sounds like there wouldn’t be many people using the facility on a whim, but rather they would make reservations in advance. This means that Brookings residents would still be using the SDSU Wellness Center rather than taking the traffic away.

 If the vote is “yes” on April 12 the facility will be located on top of the Fishback Soccer Complex. The location that holds SDSU soccer games would compromise two fields for the complex, which would only be replaced by one indoor field after the facility is finished.

 I am a strong believer that people should not vote for things that would not directly impact them. At first, I saw this situation as something that students should not vote on. Now that I have done further investigating I realized that this is absolutely something that students should vote on.

 Students should vote “no” on April 12. Increased property taxes, no change in the business in the Wellness center and the location of this facility are all reasons that students should vote “no.”

If students feel inclined to vote on the measure, I hope they are educated in the pros and cons of the Community Re-Investment Plan. All of this information, and more is available on the city of Brookings website.

 

Brenna Ramsden is an agriculture communications major at SDSU and can be reached a [email protected]