Mar 11 2019
11:26 am

Nearly two years ago then Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett announced the funding of a BMX bike facility at South-Doyle Middle School. A year ago it was determined the cost would be more than the $750 thousand originally estimated.

It is now being reported that Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs has axed the project in favor of renovating and improving the athletic fields at South-Doyle Middle School.

“The county has promised these improvements to the South-Doyle Middle School students and faculty and we intend to see them through to completion,” Jacobs said. “It’s not fair to them to have fields that are in such poor condition and we want to make sure that they have top-notch fields that the community can utilize and enjoy for years to come.”

JaHu's picture

I agree with Jacobs on this.

I agree with Jacobs on this. The dirt dumped on the middle school football field could always be sold off to recoup some of the money spent.

fischbobber's picture

It should have never been approved to begin with.

Knoxville has had several BMX courses down through the years but , despite subsidies then, the sport never took off. It's not a legitimate function of government to subsidize and develop recreational opportunity, it's the government's job to respond to the needs of the community.

Tim Burchett helped Bill Haslam kill public junior golf in this town. Now they want to build a BMX track.

There was an active effort by community volunteers and parents (Reid Harris deserves a statue, prominently displayed downtown with the story of what he did.) What we all helped do transferred lil ole Knoxville into a national junior golf destination. This was done with a purpose. What the plan was was to develop a competition level where a child could develop within our community, compete, and hopefully advance in the game of golf. We were on track until the housing collapse in 2008. We had a great group of parents and volunteers, we had great kids, and we had great golf professionals with a dedication and passion for kids, we just didn't have any money. Look at the classes of 2014 to 2019. We did right by the kids and the community. Look at those kids today. I suspect there may be a drop in golf related scholarships. I think that's a shame and I don't think it should have been like that.

But I digress. Every tax dollar invested by the city and county came back through the program via scholarships, community service, tax dollars, tourist dollars (Yes, grandparents come into town to watch sporting events. They spend money while they're here.) We were getting to the point where regional spenders were going to make a dent. It's like a twenty five dollar ticket in terms of tax revenue. And Mayor Rogero seems to understand this. It's my impression that Whittle Springs is improving the golf course and making access affordable to the average citizen. If they can get some parents like we had they can keep the golf going. We're going to have some more highly rated juniors. I think there may be an untapped group of qualified volunteers that would be able to staff a big time junior tournament. And I think this all can be done with a net gain to the taxpayer.

Let's face it. We're WAY undertaxed in Knoxville. You can't invest in your kids, or your stay-at-home parents, or your elderly, or your singles, or older married couples looking for date night events, or anything, if you are of the opinion that government's only purpose is to lower your taxes. I mean, read the constitution, it's the primary function of government to tax at a rate that supports the spending bills. It's literally the first duty mentioned.

Again, I digress. Tax dollars are sparse. Until we tax at a reasonable rate in this town, projects like this should not even be considered. We need to invest, as a community, in recreation that brings a return, greenways, standard recreational leagues, upkeep of existing facilities, boat ramps, kayak launchings, etc. Otherwise, we're just pouring money into a rabbit hole.

jbr's picture

Ultimate Frisbee, Rugby 7's

Ultimate Frisbee, Rugby 7's (Olympic sport), Field Hockey (Olympics), Lacrosse, seem like some possibilities

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