Community proposals could improve residents’ quality of life

forward recreation industrial drive

Industrial Drive, seen from the State Road 85 overpass, would include a foot and bicycle path between Main Street and Twin Hills Park if Councilwoman Robyn Helt's vision becomes reality.

BRIAN HUGHES / News Bulletin
Published: Monday, April 29, 2013 at 07:01 PM.

CRESTVIEW — If city leaders' visions come to fruition, traveling sports teams will play tournaments while moms and dads send their children to swim-team practice before attending pottery or yoga classes in the same facility. Kids will whiz around a skate park adjacent to a park that dogs can call their own, and a pedestrian and bicycle corridor will link downtown Crestview to Twin Hills Park.

Each project has potential to see completion, and little, if any, taxpayer money is necessary.

Family entertainment center

The city’s consideration of a family entertainment center passed through review by Northwest Florida State College’s Institute of Retired Professionals last month. The idea had evolved from its origin as an athletic complex.

Former Crestview City Council President Ben Iannucci III broached the idea of a sports center in 2011 after consulting with Sportsplex USA representatives. The Santee, Calif.-based company operates several multiple-sports facilities as public-private partnerships. Sprawling complexes offer play of baseball, soccer and other sports in one facility. Iannucci saw Crestview as a likely stop on the tournament route between south Alabama and Panama City games. Funding for such a structure could come from a tourist development tax, or "bed tax," on hotels’ overnight guests who are mostly out-of-town visitors. The tax could be as much as 3 cents per dollar, under state law.

Soon, Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce Arts and Culture Committee Chairwoman Rae Schwartz suggested integrating art studios, classrooms, a Crestview Public Library branch and a gallery beside locker rooms, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, gymnasium and three sports fields.

Facilities for dogs and skaters

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