DAYTON — Study results brought contention and an eventual failed motion during the Dayton Town Council meeting Aug. 15 over the potential of adding fitness stations to Scott Bicentennial Park.
A parks and recreation survey was sent mid-April 2018 to each mailbox in Dayton and passed out at local shops until May 31. Council advised the Tongue River Valley Community Center to work on a survey to see if citizens would agree with their suggestion of building fitness centers in Scott Bicentennial Park and agreed to pay 50 percent of mailing costs.
The response rate was 24 percent. Of the 24 percent, 82.8 percent live in the town of Dayton, 12.5 percent live out of town and 4.7 percent did not supply a place of residence. An estimated 157 people were in-town respondents out of the total Dayton population of 757, according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau. Of those in town who responded, 70 percent of those said they would like the fitness centers to be added.
Councilor Cliff Reed criticized the survey, saying that he did not believe it provided enough local input to install the centers. He estimated that, because of the percentage breakdowns, the results accounted for less than 20 percent of actual Dayton citizens.
“If I were to bring you a survey that represented less than 20 percent of the people, would you vote for that?” Reed said.
Councilor Laurie Walters-Clark said the TRVCC board was asked by council to provide survey results.
“We can’t go door-to-door and ask them,” Walters-Clark said. “We had to make the choice that we felt safest with and we did bring it back to the council…and answer (council’s) question without spending $4,000.”