Kalkaska Voters Speak out on Future of Kaliseum

Kalkaska County surveyed voters about what they would like to see happen to the ailing Kaliseum rec center. The Kalkaska County board of commissioners presented those results at a meeting Thursday night.

The Kaliseum needs work and the county wanted to find out what voters were willing to pay for.

The county presented three options for the future of the Kaliseum, that include tearing down the building, re purposing the pool or renovating the building completely.

The survey asked voters whether they would vote yes or vote no for each of the separate plans.

The majority of voters said “no” to each option presented.

The option with the most support was to renovate the Kaliseum completely, yet just 44 percent of voters said they would vote yes on that measure. The measure would rehaul the whole center and provide funding for continuing maintenance, equipment replacement and staffing in a 20 year bond.

A Lansing based market research firm conducted the survey and presented results to the public on Thursday night. The meeting was packed and many residents had strong feelings about the Kaliseum’s future.

“If the staffing was right, if it was ran as a business, the potential here is unbelievable,” said Paul Birgy, a lifelong resident of Kalkasak. “If we properly educated the community and they had confidence with what was going to change, we’d be in a totally different situation right now.”

The Kalkaska county board of commissioners will decide its ballot language in a meeting on Monday.