Rosehill expands hours

By Kevin Stoltz, Mukilteo City Councilmember | Aug 14, 2013

The Rosehill Community Center is now open an additional 15 hours per week for our residents.

As of June 21, Rosehill is open an additional four hours on Fridays (6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.) an additional four hours on Saturdays (8 a.m.-9 p.m.) and seven hours on Sundays (11 a.m.-6 p.m.).

Having the extended hours on Friday and Saturday evenings along with new hours on Sundays makes the community center much more available to those of us who work regular jobs and really only have weekends to enjoy the community center.

I hope you’ll take advantage and use the community center during the new hours and while the new hours are funded through the end of the year, as I’ll explain later, there’s a very good chance we’ll lose the additional hours if the community doesn’t embrace them.

Rosehill has a Fitness Room, a Game Room and the Rosehill Room available to the public during open hours.

The Fitness Room is well equipped and mostly underutilized and includes not only free weights and fitness balls but also 12 Precor fitness machines, including an FTS glide, leg curl, leg extension, leg press, chest press, seated row, shoulder press, two ellipticals, two treadmills and a recumbent bike.

The ellipticals, treadmills and bike have screens and cable TV. You can also bring in your own music to play on the stereo system. The view is spectacular.

Use of the Fitness Room is available on a drop-in basis for $5 per session or you can buy a block of 20 visits for $70 ($3.50 per visit). The 20-visit punch card can be used by anyone in your family; even multiple people concurrently, making it a flexible way to get your fitness fix.

The Fitness Room is located on the lower level, and the bathrooms (including the family bathroom) have a shower and changing area.

The Game Room has a ping-pong table, foosball table, a game table and an Xbox 360 system with three controllers. There is no charge to use anything in the Game Room, although the Xbox requires some form of assurance (like an ID card) from someone 13 or older.

The Rosehill Room is an informal meeting room and is open for everyone to use during regular hours.

As mentioned earlier, if the community doesn’t embrace the new hours, we’ll lose them.

The new community center has been open for more than 2 1/2 years now and it’s been a struggle to get these new hours implemented.

In that time, my attempts at getting the city to charge market rates for wedding rentals, dedicating the Christiansen Room to the Mukilteo Seniors and as a community meeting room, and extending the hours Rosehill is open for our residents have crashed and burned on multiple occasions.

During budget hearings at the end of 2012, I tried again to get Rosehill hours extended for the community. The council eventually decided to have staff study the request and come back to the council with recommendations.

The proposal that came back to the council actually combined a separate staff request with a scaled down implementation of the original request.

Unfortunately, the distinction between the original request and staff proposal wasn’t clear, so I encouraged the council to just forget my original request (for now), which they did.

At the April 22 council meeting, the council approved a $29,000 increase proposed by staff sans the extended hours funding originally requested.

During the first-quarter budget amendment at the May 6 council meeting, I made a separate motion to increase the hours to those above at a cost of $9,000 beginning June 1 through the end of the year.

I was pleasantly surprised after justifying the amounts the council approved the motion 5-2.

A similar motion to dedicate the Christiansen Room to the Mukilteo Seniors and as a community meeting room failed 4-3 with myself, councilmembers Schmalz and Gregerson voting in favor of the motion.

Already, I’ve heard that management will be tallying the number of residents who come in during the extended hours and even the city administrator’s memo to the mayor and council has included phrases which I expect will be used to dump the extended hours in the 2014 budget unless residents embrace the new hours at a level which exceeds the usage during the prior hours.

Clues to me include, “Staff will bring this subject back to council in December for consideration of future funding for extended hours.”

Unfortunately, this is prepping the council for a justification in reducing the hours. Another clue, “since this is on a trial basis” tells me we’re going to have to justify the extended hours come December, as the original motion had nothing about this being on a trial basis.

So, please tell your friends and neighbors about the new extended hours for your community center. I know there are many who will use it, if they know about it.

I had hoped the city would use the funding allocated for the extended hours between June 1-21, when it was actually implemented, to promote the new hours to the community.

So far, it looks like the only promotion is what you’re reading.

The preceding feature is published the second Wednesday of each month for The Beacon and is the opinion of Kevin Stoltz and may or may not represent the views of the Mukilteo City Council.

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