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Nibley plans 50-acre, $5 million sports park as it plans for city growth

March 15th, 2011 Posted in Arts and Life

By Katie Smedley

NIBLEY—Nibley City will soon begin construction on a long-range plan for a $5 million, 50-acre, state-of-the-art sports park that will include five baseball fields, four soccer fields, a basketball court and tennis courts.

City Manager Larry Anhder says Nibley is the fastest growing city in Cache Valley. Construction on the park, off South 640 West, should begin in a year or two. Completion may take 25 to 30 years, Anhder said, assuming a city growth rate of between 6 percent and 7 percent, and that around 50 or 60 new homes are built each year.

Barbara Willden, 75, a seven-year Nibley resident, likes the idea of her great-grandchildren having a place to play. “Playing sports is a great modern-day way of keeping children occupied and out of trouble,” she said. “If a child is playing soccer four nights a week their schedule is full.

“This is a project for the future’s needs, not necessarily ours,” she said.

Most residents are in favor of the park, said Anhder. Surveys were sent out in the residential utility bills, and 48 percent of those who responded said Nibley does not have adequate park space.

But lifelong resident Neil McBride, 67, disagrees with the park project, and said many other residents of Nibley also feel strongly against it. “Why do we need it?” he asked. “We have at least seven parks already.

“It’s just more money to be spent,” McBride added. “A lot of us are living paycheck to paycheck. They can utilize the facilities we already have better. Ask every old timer and they’ll tell you the same thing.  The schools already have plenty of land where they can play sports.”

The estimated $5 million cost of the park will be paid in part out the city general fund budget, and also by building impact fees. Anhder said that as the city grows, more impact funds will be available.

If, on the other hand, the city’s growth slows, the city manager said, the project will be scaled back. Anhder said city plans to sell 29 building lots will finance the 500 parking spaces that are estimated to be the most expensive part of the project. The homes will face the park, he said Anhder. The city also will apply for grants.

“This is a big park for a city the size of Nibley,” he acknowledged, “but 25 years from now it might not be. By 2025, we expect 11,000 people. This is a very bold step in looking to the future.

You don’t find too many cities who match this type of progress,” Anhder said.


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