Community Center Referendum

January 2020 Mayor's Moment 


community center update

Community Center Presentation

Community Center Options

On August 7th, 2019, the Cottage Grove City Council unanimously agreed to direct City staff to begin the process of preparing a referendum question, for the November 2020 ballot, regarding a potential community center. After several years of community outreach and engagement, site and infrastructure studies and financial impact research, Council Members voted and approved one of the six diverse “center options” presented to them.

More details will be coming in the months ahead, but here are a few details about the option agreed upon:

• Amenities included: Sports dome, indoor playground, community rooms and gathering spaces, climbing wall, performance space and early childhood education

• Location: Shoppes at Cottage View site (near the intersection of Keats Avenue and East Point Douglas Road)

• Cost: $18.87 million with an annual operating subsidy of $50,000

• Referendum: Question would appear on the November 2020 ballot

• Financial Impact: Current projections imply a tax increase on a $300,000 valued home of $47 per year, or $3.92 per month

• Possible Partners: Partnerships would decrease taxpayer impact. The City is exploring partnerships with athletic associations, the school district and community organizations. Partnerships with retailers and service providers are also a possibility.

Go to www.cottagegrovemn.gov/communitycenter to learn more. You can take a look at all 6 options Council Members considered, dig into the most recent community survey, learn more about the City’s resident outreach and site selection process, and analyze financial data from the past 3 years of research.

Thanks for the Input; Here are your Community Center Amenities Survey Results

We asked and you, the residents of Cottage Grove, answered! 1,744 people took our online survey and staff members and elected officials met face-to-face with another 303 people out in the community. The data you’ll find below comes from a single question: Choose all the possible amenities (12 offered) you would like to see included in a potential community center? Some chose “none of the above,” some chose “all of the above,” and hundreds simply cherry-picked the features they’d like to be potentially included. Online survey results:

Survey Results

Hy-Vee Event 1      Hy-Vee Outreach 2

Throughout the month of March, Staff Members and Civic Leaders met with various groups and organizations to hear directly from residents, stopping by senior centers, meeting with members of clubs and talking with shoppers at both Hy-Vee and Cub. Using the “block method”, residents could place the amenities they wanted onto a sliding scale that corresponded with the total construction cost of a possible building. The bigger the block, the bigger the expense.

Blocks 1      Blocks 2

During these exercises, residents could choose possibilities within the amenities listed on the online survey.

The Pool could be broken down into three categories

  • Kids Pool,
  • Adventure Aquatics
  • Aquatic Aerobics

The Fitness Center could be broken down into three categories

  • Weights
  • Cardio
  • Fitness Studios

Community Rooms could be broken down into four categories

  • Activity Room
  • Banquet Space
  • Party Rooms
  • Makerspace/Learning Lab

And Outdoor Park or Event Space could be broken down into 2 categories

  • Lawn Bowling
  • Splash Pad
  • Outdoor Event Landscape
  • Outdoor Playground

Here are the results from those “face-to-face” interactions (303).

Survey Results 2

What’s Next? The City will pull all the data and combine it with recent market analysis, on-going stakeholder and potential partner discussions and site feasibility studies. The Finance team will then run the numbers and a new survey, narrowing in on what a potential community center would entail, will be launched in the coming weeks. Stay tuned, we still need more of your input!

March 15, 2019

The City of Cottage Grove needs you!

We’re looking for opinions, viewpoints, feedback and ideas as we explore the possibility of putting a Community Center referendum question on the November ballot. We have just completed our first phase of outreach in the form of a survey asking residents what amenities they'd like to see in a potential Community Center. Hundreds of residents weighed in online and staff members and civic leaders met with more than 100 people for face-to-face conversations around the community as well. Phase One wrapped up at the end of March. We'll have new updates in the coming weeks. 

This webpage you’re looking at right now is your “one-stop-shopping” point; we’ll be providing updates throughout the project.  When’s the next meeting or how do you access the next survey? Has the City identified potential partners to share building or operating costs? What would a potential project cost the individual taxpayer? You’ll find that type of updated information right here in the near future.

The Community Center Conversation Begins with You!

Over the course of the next several months, you’re going to hear a lot about the possibility of the City building a Community Center. There have been many discussions in the past, but this year’s public outreach will be unprecedented. We want your voice and we need your input before we, as a community, decide if this is the time to add a destination recreation center in the Cottage Grove for all ages. At this point, City staff members are engaging in a feasibility study and wrapping up market analysis. The City will make every effort to listen, study, and recruit funding partners before putting the idea on the November ballot through a referendum question.

Why? In 2017, the City of Cottage Grove undertook an ambitious public outreach plan driven by one fundamental question: “What one wish do you have for the future of Cottage Grove?” 3,729 community members responded. The “My Future Cottage Grove” study revealed the strong desire for a Community Center. A Volunteer Task Force, made up of more than two dozen community members and city staffers, spent 2018 confirming the community’s wishes while prioritizing leisure needs and comparing them to existing amenities and services already available in the City. Task force members also visited other metro-area community centers and studied their books.

Who? The residents of Cottage Grove. In short, taxpayers, voters, residents and their families. Also, potential community partners who would share construction and operating costs.

What? A Community Center that would need to be approved by the community and built for the community. The City really needs to hear from residents!

Where? That’s a great question. The City is looking at a few potential locations, and we hope to share some options soon. A lot will depend on potential partner involvement and upcoming discussions. We’ll definitely keep you updated and posted as the studies and conversations continue!

When? If we’re talking about the discussion, then the answer is now. Currently, city staff members and civic leaders are interacting with community organizations and residents to gather feedback. Public outreach is just beginning, and in the coming months, the City and its architect (locally-based Leo A Daly) will narrow in on a site, refine capital costs and develop operational and financial analysis. A referendum question with the exact details may emerge in August before voters make the final decision in early November. There will be dozens of opportunities for residents to weigh-in with each step.

How? The biggest question you may be asking is “how much”? That’s what this process will determine. What do residents want the City to build? Who is partnering on the project? How much will it cost to build and/or operate? We know this is an extremely important question, and we’ll keep you updated in person, online and through social media, as the City receives results throughout the feasibility study.