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WEST JORDAN, Utah (AP) -- Nearly 100 residents protested the City Council's decision to tear down the town's rodeo grounds and baseball diamonds.
Resident told the council Tuesday that the plan to remove the arena that has been home for 50 years to the Western Stampede Rodeo would wipe out the town's heritage. Others, many of them youngsters, told the council that replacing the ball diamonds with picnic tables would leave them without an important summer activity.
The council offered a compromise that would preserve the ball fields but not the rodeo arena. However, members voted to explore funding mechanisms for a rodeo facility that could be built on lands yet to be acquired by the city.
"These kids in West Jordan have a lot of horses. Where are they going to go to ride their horses after you've torn down the arena? I'm disgusted with the whole City Council. You're all wet," said resident LaDell Steadman.
"The July Fourth Stampede is West Jordan's community tradition," said Tiffany Warnick. "You're about to put an end to that."
Kelly Hollander said the July 4th celebration, a volunteer effort, drew 16,000 people to town last summer.
"The Stampede brings more people to our city than any other event. And our businesses love it," she said.
Not everyone spoke in favor of the rodeo, like Holly Bell, who said its day have passed.
"In all honesty, I just don't know that many people who are interested in the rodeo. We don't have cowboys from West Jordan in the rodeo, and we have to go outside the city to find young women for the royalty," she said. "It may be time to let this activity go."
While rodeo boosters were disheartened, ball players were relieved.
The ball diamonds serve more than 400 girls who play softball in the Copper Hills Bonnett Ball league, said Malinda Wright.
Devan Bobo, 12, plays in the league and wanted the council to save the ball fields.
"I love softball. But I wouldn't be able to play if they took the fields out because we'd have to drive all the way to Sandy," Bobo said.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)