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East Carbon slates grand opening for city's fitness center

By C.J. MCMANUS
Sun Advocate community editor


Ariel Carrillo, 20, works out at the College of Eastern Utah's BDAC. East Carbon City plans to create a similar facility on a smaller scale for the residents of both communities located in eastern Carbon County.

Cupid along with several local health organizations will encourage East Carbon residents to become physically fit on Valentine's Day as the city prepares to open the new community health and wellness center with a ribbon cutting and open house.

East Carbon worked through many projects and programs in 2007. However, in Mayor Orlando LaFontaine's address to the city, he stressed the overall importance of this particular project.

"The number one epidemic in the United States is inactivity. Inactivity leads to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and many other risks," said LaFontaine. "We need to establish this wellness center for the health of our residents."

According to the mayor, the project will be revolutionary for the citizens of East Carbon.

Because officials plan to use 24 hour surveillance on the building, residents who have purchased a pass will be able to use the facility 24 hours a day seven days a week.

"The residents will be given a pass key with their membership," said LaFontaine. "That way they can use the facility at whatever time is convenient to them. I really think this will bring people out, you know some people have strange work schedules that would only allow them to use the facility in the middle of the night, because of the security and pass key system they will be able to do so."

No grant money was sought for the fitness center project.

Corporate donations and East Carbon City residents have paid for the renovation of the Bi-Centennial Building and the workout equipment to be used in the center through the city's general fund.

"Because the residents paid for this out of the general fund, we have tried to keep the rates at the facility as low as possible," said East Carbon City Councilmember Andy Urbanik.

Urbanik was put in charge of the project after his term on the city council started at the beginning of the year.

Urbanik and Mayor LaFontaine recently traveled to Salt Lake City to select the equipment that will be used within the facility.

The total cost of the equipment came to slightly more than $23,000.

"We looked at an apartment complex with roughly the same population as our city and the workout facility they constructed to accommodate their residents," pointed out Urbanick. "And I believe we have matched and even went a little beyond what they provide. We all want this center to be something the whole community can use and for that to happen we need to have enough quality equipment."

While the $23,000 was more than the city had originally planned to spend on equipment the council passed a motion unanimously approving the purchase.

Urbanik also discussed the large amount of work that has been required at the Bi-Centennial building to get it ready for the grand opening.

Due to a large portion of citizen donated labor and materials the building's total renovation cost was reduced to $5,000.

After passing the motion to release the funds for the renovation, city councilmember Darlene Kuhns stated that if the city was going to renovate the building they should go all the way with it.

"As I understand it that $5,000 does not include new carpet for the building and the carpet in that building is in bad shape. If we are going to do this lets do it right and replace the carpet as well," said Kuhns.

Her motion to investigate the cost of new flooring for the building was passed unanimously by the council.

A major concern from the council was the potential for litigation from citizens who may have injure themselves at the new facility.

"I think it is very important that we get a waiver signed by everyone who uses the facility," said councilmember Joyce Caviness.

According to the mayor it is not so much the waiver that is important but correct and adequate signage within the facility.

"I have spoken with the city attorney on this very issue and it was his recommendation that we post large signs stating that all recreation that takes place within the center is done at the participants risk," said LaFontaine.

Security at the facility was a hotly discussed topic as both residents and councilmembers are concerned about vandalism due to the 24 hour nature of the facility.

"We have taken every precaution we could think of to make sure that this facility will be safe," said LaFontaine. "From 24 digital cameras with DVR capabilities to increased police observation to identification via the key cards and through the security company."

The mayor also stressed that even if the door does not close tightly behind someone an alarm will sound within 30 seconds.

Before moving on the city officials motioned and passed more than $30,000 worth of funds for the new facility.

We all want this center to be something the whole community can use and for that to happen we need to have enough quality equipment."

While the $23,000 was more than the city had originally planned to spend on equipment, the council passed a motion unanimously approving the purchase.

Urbanik also discussed the significant amount of work that has been required at the Bi-Centennial building to get the structure ready for the grand opening.

Due to citizen donated labor and materials, the building's total renovation cost was reduced to $5,000.

After passing the motion to release the funds for the renovation, city councilmember Darlene Kuhns stated that, if the city was going to renovate the building, East Carbon should go all the way with the project.

"As I understand it, that $5,000 does not include new carpet for the building and the carpet in that building is in bad shape. If we are going to do this, lets do it right and replace the carpet as well," said Kuhns.

The councilmeber's motion to investigate the cost of new flooring for the building was passed unanimously by the officials.

A major concern from the council was the potential for litigation from citizens who may injure themselves at the new facility.

"I think it is very important that we get a waiver signed by everyone who uses the facility," said Councilmember Joyce Caviness.

According to the mayor, it is not so much the waiver that is important but correct and adequate signage within the facility.

"I have spoken with the city attorney on this very issue and it was his recommendation that we post large signs stating that all recreation that takes place within the center is done at the participants risk," said LaFontaine.

Security at the facility was a hotly discussed topic as residents in attendance at the meeting and councilmembers are concerned about vandalism due to the 24 hour nature of the facility.

"We have taken every precaution we could think of to make sure that this facility will be safe," said LaFontaine. "From 24 digital cameras with DVR capabilities to increased police observation to identification via the key cards and through the security company."

The mayor also stressed that even if the door does not close tightly behind someone an alarm will sound within 30 seconds.

Before moving on, the city officials motioned and passed more than $30,000 worth of funds for the new facility.





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