Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image The Deseret Peak Complex pool will not be open during the summer to save money.

May 16, 2013
No pool at the Peak this summer

The pool at Deseret Peak Complex will not open on Memorial Day this year. In fact the pool may not open at all this summer.

At Tuesday night’s Tooele County Commission meeting, commissioners approved contracts with private operators for the soccer fields, softball fields, and the Motocross track at the facility.

However, no contract was approved for the popular Deseret Peak Aquatic Center.

“We did not receive any responses to our request for proposals to run the pool for the summer,” said Commissioner Jerry Hurst after Tuesday’s meeting.

The county’s own analysis of pool operations concluded that the county would lose $150,000 on pool operations.

“We just can’t do that right now,” said Hurst. “There is a possibility that we may open the pool in July and August if the weather is hot enough, but the pool won’t be heated.”

Hurst said the cost for natural gas to heat the pool runs around $12,000 a month.

However, private contractors will keep the soccer fields, baseball fields, and Motocross track at Deseret Peak open.

Troy Johansen, a prominent figure in Grantsville softball, has scheduled and operated the softball fields since April. Casey Walker, coaching director for TC United, a non-profit organization that provides recreational soccer to local youth, has done the same for the soccer fields since April.

Tuesday night commissioners approved formal contracts with Johansen and Walker.

Walker will run the soccer fields and pay the county $5 per player and 10 percent of gross concession sales.

Johansen will run the softball fields in exchange for paying the county 15 percent of gross concession sales.

Johansen and Walker must maintain the fields. They may use county mowers and sprinkler system, but must pay fuel and maintenance costs of the equipment.

The two operators will also pay for the installation of electric meters and pay for all electrical use at the ball fields.

Both operators must provide liability insurance and Walker must provide portable toilets.

The agreement gives both Walker and Johansen priority use of the fields, but require them to allow third parties to also use the fields.

The ball field contracts expire in November at which time the contracts will be put out to the public for bids, said Mark McKendrick, Tooele County parks and recreation director.

A contract with Throttle 215 Mx Park in Salt Lake City for the operation of the Deseret Peak’s Motocross complex was also approved by the county commission.

Salt Lake Motocross Complex, L.L.C. will maintain and run the Deseret Peak MX facility and pay the county $1 per rider for daily operations and three percent of all gross receipts for special events.

In other county-owned venues, the Benson Gristmill will be open this summer, said Hurst.

The county has contracted to have the lawn mowed and the grounds cared for at the gristmill, but there will be no guided tours.

The pavilion at the gristmill may be rented for activities, according to Hurst. The commissioners have not confirmed plans for other venues at Deseret Peak.

Three months ago all things came to a halt at Tooele County Parks and Recreation, including Deseret Peak Complex, when the commissioners laid off all county parks, recreation and building maintenance employees.

Tim Gillie

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim covers education, Tooele City government, business, real estate, politics and the state Legislature. He became a journalist after a long career as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America. Tim is a native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University.

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