Dear Florence Resident –
I would like to take a few moments to introduce myself and talk about the planned construction of a
library, aquatic center, and recreational facilities. My name is Charles and I am the Town Manager for
the Town of Florence. I have been working here since February, 2013 and I live in the Anthem
Community with my family; my children attend Florence High School.
There is no doubt that you have recently heard about plans to build a library, aquatic center and
recreational facilities in the downtown area of Florence. I would like to inform you about the process
and provide you with accurate information on the project. Part of what Town staff does is administer
the policies and the vision set by the Florence Council, but what we also do is to ensure all residents
have access to a similar level of service and do our best to help the community grow and thrive.
- The facility has been in the plans for nearly 10 years. More recently, it has been discussed at multiple public meetings with the Town Council and residents since January.
- NO impact fees have been recommended to be used for the aquatic center.
- UNDER NO circumstances would I or any member of my staff recommend a tax increase to build or to operate such a facility, now or in the future. In addition, this Town Council has made it clear that that they do not support a tax increase to fund the construction of these facilities.
- It is recommended that Impact fees will be used on the library and recreational facilities. If these revenues generated by impact fees are not used in the next year, the Town will permanently lose a portion of the impact fee revenues.
Over the last few weeks I have listened to the concerns of various members of the community, as has
your Town Council, and I am recommending to the Town Council that we delay this project so that we
can get more information to the residents about the project and operating costs. You are the most
important part of this community, our residents, and we are listening. We have postponed the work
session previously scheduled for August 12th and the action items scheduled for the regular meeting of August 18th until we compile more information for our residents.
I personally have all the recreational services I need in Anthem, because they are provided by the HOA,
and I may not use most of the services that these facilities will provide. However, the Town as a whole
needs more services for the children, adults, and active seniors in our community. We should address
the needs of the community as a whole when looking at these types of projects regardless of the
location of the project. It does not matter what part of Florence you live in, all services will be
available for your use. The new facilities will bring new innovative programs to engage our community
and the residence we serve.
Regarding the aquatic center, kids and parents no longer frequent a pool that is just a hole in the ground
with water, but a destination where they can enjoy and spend the day with their family and friends. If it
is built, the construction of the facilities will create a few jobs, and it will provide a friendly place to
introduce others in the region to our great Town.
In closing, if you any have questions or concerns, please call or come and talk to me. I work for you. In
the meantime, staff will provide additional information on the cost of construction and the costs of the
continued operation and maintenance of the facilities. I encourage you to attend community meetings
regarding the facilities.
Charles A. Montoya
Town of Florence