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Your Views: Youth athletes would get boost from SPLOST
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The ongoing referendum this month to extend the special purpose local option sales tax in Gainesville-Hall County offers an exciting opportunity for the children and youth of our community. If SPLOST passes, Gainesville will be able to launch Phase I construction of the city’s first youth sports fields in more than 30 years.

For the past two years, I have served as chairman of the Committee for a Gainesville Youth Athletic Complex. Though our committee developed the plans, the proposed project truly reflects the dreams of hundreds of local parents and volunteer coaches. As a volunteer coach and parent myself, I well understand the need for additional outdoor fields after enduring many late night Little League baseball and football practices.

As our population has grown, demand in youth sports participation has simply outstripped supply for many years. Meanwhile, we have watched surrounding counties build their own youth sports complexes, attracting thousands of tournament visitors (and tourism dollars) to their communities

So the Gainesville Youth Athletic Complex, to be located across from the Allen Creek soccer fields, not only benefits our kids, it also will be an economic generator that could spur retail and hospitality development north of Gainesville along the U.S. 129 corridor.

For our children, our local economy, greenspace and many other reasons, I encourage Gainesville-Hall County residents to get out and vote “Yes” for SPLOST. The youth of our community deserve your support.

Cooper Embry
chairman, Committee for a Gainesville Youth Athletic Complex, Gainesville

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