Rec'quiem for a center

Rec center possibly on November ballot

— In November, Craig residents may again vote on a proposed sales tax increase for a new recreation center.

City residents voted the issue down in 2003, when the proposal included sales and use taxes to finance an approximate $12 million project.

The Recreation Center Steering Committee met Thursday night to go over the campaign ahead and how it will likely differ from the last time a recreation center appeared on a ballot.

The new project would likely cost less, but decisions for the exact ballot question and tax proposal are a little ways out, said Dave Pike, city Parks and Recreation Department director. The Steering Committee is considering a three-quarter cent sales tax increase.

Specific details on the new project's plans, costs or timeline have not been decided. Pike plans to bring some preliminary plans to the Craig City Council in March, he said.

"We don't know if that's the magic number," Pike said. "I'm pretty sure a half cent won't build what we want to build, and I'm pretty sure a penny is asking too much of the community."

The impetus for bringing the issue back: The city's recent citizen survey came back with 63 percent indicating support for a sales tax to fund an indoor recreation center.

Pike said he believes people are more comfortable now than five years ago because of the relative health in the current local economy.

"The last time we went through this process, the county was kind of in a bad way," Pike said. "The timing was bad. Now we seem to be in kind of a growth spurt. The outlook is pretty positive."

The project likely will need to be scaled back from the 2003 proposal, Pike added. For that project, the Steering Committee put all the things they wanted in a big package and asked for enough money to pay for it all.

Whereas the previous project was akin to someone going out for a Cadillac and looking at prices when he or she gets there, this year's will operate within a budget, Pike said.

"This time, we're going to say we really need to get a mid-sized family car that costs this much," he said. "What that's going to entail is we won't be able to afford all the amenities we planned five years ago."

The citizen survey polled residents on certain features that aren't typical to most recreation centers, Pike told the committee. At the bottom of the list were an indoor shooting range and community meeting rooms.

Those will likely be scratched.

On the flip side, 72 percent of respondents said it was "essential or very important" the project include a teen center.

"I think most people in this town agree," Pike said, "the reason we have so many problems with our teens - especially with drug use - it's because we don't have things for our teens to do."

Support for a senior center also was favorable, coming in at 58 percent.

The future still is very much up in the air.

Pike and Jim Duran, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board member, plan to meet with the Colorado Northwestern Community College Board of Control on possible arrangements to build the center where The Memorial Hospital and CNCC are building their expansions.

The 2003 plans would have had the center built in that area, also.

Gene Bilodeau, CNCC Craig campus dean and Craig city councilor, attended the Thursday meeting.

His feeling regarding the Board of Control's plans was that it would be open to the project, and even have a possible 14-acre site on the southwest corner of the overall lot that the recreation center could occupy.

"The Board was looking at keeping this until the folks of Moffat County realize the wisdom of a recreation center," Bilodeau said.

Comments

Cole White 6 years, 1 month ago

Dude they could take a pile of dog poop, paint it green and tell you it was lime sherbert and I am sure someone could get you to support a tax to pay for it.

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Cole White 6 years, 1 month ago

So if I follow your logic, we should all have our entire paychecks sent to the gov. and they can give us monthly allowances to live on. We could all have the same houses, cars, and other material possessions and the goverment could provide for us. Is that right? Hmm that sounds familiar. Where have I seen this before? Oh yeah, they call it communism. Stealing from those who want to work hard and get ahead and giving to the masses as a way of "equalizing society" is a bunch of crap. Label it however you like. "Progress," or "Community," or what ever you want to call it -- it simply boils down to the fact that we have a lot of people who want nice things and they want someone else to pay for it.

So if that is what you really believe then how come you aren't out champion things like a tax to buy everyone a first-alert button like the bionic woman tries to sell on tv, so if a person falle down and can't call 911 they can just push a button and authorities are alerted. Infomercials have them costing about $7.99 a month. So we can buy everyone in Craig a call button and then the ambulance and police can come running whenever people need them. This would only cost about a million bucks a year. We could arguably save more lives with a program like this, so how come you aren't supporting this? Oh, oh, oh, oh, wait, wait, wait, what about giving everyone monitors to wear that monitor their heart rate and if someone's heart stops or they start getting sick then 911 is instantly called. This would only cost about five million a year and it would do way more toward saving lives than a call button or a hospital . Of course it would need a GPS attached and that might cost extra, but what the hell if it saves a life lets pay for it. Who cares about individual accountability and responsibility. Now the average joe can eat, drink, and let their body go to hell because now they know technology will save their life with no regard to its cost on society.

I will still support the notion that green painted poop, if packaged properly and labeled with a nice appealing name or purpose would be supported by people like Native. Mmmmm any one for some lime sherbert?

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oldsage 6 years, 1 month ago

Well since Moffat County used voting machines that can be hacked and manipulated to get new buildings for the hospital and schools with out improving any services maybe those who want a rec center can do the same thing and get the machines to show a majority want to be taxed even more for some other silly things they want. It's just a penny, right, well pay that penny right after our Democrat Governor wins approval by the Democrat statehouse on his proposal to raise the vehicle registration fees for every-ones' vehicles by a hundred bucks a year.

Just about everyone who I have talked to about the bond issues passing last November cannot believe anyone actually voted for them. (Except some of those on this forum) It's like finding anyone who voted for Bill Clinton. I now believe that there really has been a dumbing down in the education system. Or was it voter fraud of some kind?

For those of you who are going to get a check for economic stimulus from the fed, do you know where that money is coming from? A. your taxes B. the rich C. Your great great grand children's' taxes

Here is a clue, the 165 billion borrowed from China today to give that money to you so you can spend it on products made in China made by slaves will be paid for by future generations. Do it for the children, it's only a penny, it's only $15 a month on a $150,000 house. How soon will the Moffat County Assessor assess the "Tough Shed" you or your children are going to be forced to live in for $150,000? Mark my word it's going to happen. If the value of the dollar keeps dropping your "tough shed residence's value" is going to go up, and with it your property taxes. Just remember you did it to yourself, your posterity (Your future generations) and all your neighbors and their posterity.

Feed it and it gets bigger, how amazing!

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CindyLou 6 years, 1 month ago

Native -- You couldn't have said it any better than how you ended your last statement ". . . Exiting left...." (except maybe if you would have said "Exiting far left .....")

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Cole White 6 years, 1 month ago

I like Native.... It's like watching Jerry Sienfeld. It's entertaining and I get a good laugh, but like Sienfeld, it's a lot about nothing.

But Native, don't take it so personal because people aren't laughing at you, they're laughing with you .......... Uh wait..... Okay, they are laughing at you. But it's not on purpose... you just make it so easy. It's funny when you get all tuff and serious and and think you've somehow just discovered truth and enlightenment and was able to secure the patent and copy rights to it.

It's like those reall small lap dogs that start yapping and showing their teeth at big dogs who come into the yard. Working dogs like Labs, Healers, and Shepherds will usually just come over to see what all the noise is about and sniff out the situation. Sometimes the big dog will walk away and go look for real wild animals and other times they stay because lap dogs make a good snack.

It is interesting to see how impassioned you get about these matters surrounding public works. I just wonder if there is a public works project you wouldn't support. Streets? Sure! Police, Fire, Water, Utility? You bet!! they have a huge return for the money we invest in them. But where do you start drawing the line? When it's no longer one of your ideas? When it doesn't give you the benefit you want? You say you wouldn't use a Rec center, but come one, we know that was just a deffensive tactic.

You speak of a $.01 as being no big deal and I will agree with you on that if that is all we had to pay in sales tax, but it isn't. "It's only a penny" is what everyone said when they first introduced a sales tax. "It's only $.01 and then ....it's only $.02 ... it's only $.03 ......it's only $.06." When will it stop? When someone says "It's no big deal! It's only a penny. It only raises sales tax to $.25 on the dollar"

My point about doing something like using a first-alert button probably isn't dumb to an elderly person who wants to live at home as long as possible, but doesn't have anyone to look after them. Put is utterly stupid to the other 99.9%. Only about 10% of the population of Moffat County came out in support of the last tax increase. This was the best an organized effort spending county tax dollars on the campaign could muster. While less than that apposed the increase openly at the election, the simple fact that only 10% supported it doesn't tell me that it is some small group of narrow minded people who are stuck in the past that don't support your views. Hold the elections today and I am sure the measures would fail at a rate of 2 to 1. Hold it a year from now and it would fail at a rate of 3 to 1. NOT becuase of ignorance, but because of just the opposite .... the average joe would be better informed.

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vic 6 years, 1 month ago

yep...always want something for nothing. You people want to live in a nice town and you want your property to be worth more on the market, you want top notch medical care, excellent education for your children and grandchildren, safety, nice smooth roads, proper snow removal and on goes the list...but you are not willing to chip in to make it happen. You just want it to happen.

Craig is a great little town, but if not properly maintained and sensibly modernized, it will go to crap. This town has to grow because the population is growing, but balanced growth is key. I have said it before and will say it again, haven't you people ever played Sim City? What is happening here is common sense.

I am in line with Native and I voted yes on all the measures being held in contempt and would vote the same if I could vote today with my tax bill in hand. As for a Rec center...I think it would be a nice thing to have, but of course would need more details before deciding if I want to pay more to have one. And I would be more likely to vote yes if the money came from an increased sales tax, rather than another increase in property tax. I don't remember who said it (in the property tax comments) but I like the idea of improvement/growth money coming from sales tax - then everyone, not just property owners can chip in.

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Cole White 6 years, 1 month ago

Once again Native -- Thanks for proving my point for me!

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grannyrett 6 years, 1 month ago

Native is right. If the people want a rec center, it is only fair for all the people to pay for it. Homeowners should not be the only ones to foot the bill. A sales tax would spread the cost to all who spend money in our city. Those who rent houses in Craig would help fund a center. Tourists, who would probably never use the center, would help fund it too. Those who live elsewhere and shop in Craig would help fund the center. Sounds pretty fair to me, but that is only my opinion. Put it on the ballot and see how it goes. How many times has a rec center been turned down before? Taxpayers don't want to pay more for it. Homeowners are tired of paying for all the improvements to Craig. It would be the only fair way to build a center-to have all pay for it.

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vor 6 years, 1 month ago

You know native, with your reasoning, we will all be equally poor. Lets let the government take all our money away to make Craig better instead of letting us keep some of this money, and geeeeez who knows....some entrepreneur (you will probably have to look this up) will then provide a rec. center??? The higher the taxes folks, and the more we depend on the government...the poorer the economy, and less likely to have these entreprneurs help with the growth of Craig...that you say that you are for. It sounds like the only growth that you want is only what the government can give to us by increasing taxes. vor is voice of reason

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citizensforgrowth 6 years, 1 month ago

Its a good thing that we're building a new hospital because lately every time our local government acts, I get a sharp pain in my stomach and feel the need to visit the porcelin goddess. In their never ending quest to find new and creative ways to part us with our money we see that they have resurrected that old dinosaur the recreation center. What on earth can we possibly build that we don't already have? We already have baseball fields, softball fields, football fields, soccer fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, swimming pools (indoor and out), indoor ice skating rink, shooting ranges, fitness clubs, gymnastics, a bowling alley. You know Dave Pike is right, we don't have anything for our kids to do. I find it interesting that the city uses as an excuse for not plowing Yampa and Victory Way properly that they don't want to compete with private businesses yet all of the sudden they consider putting in a senior center and a teen center that could very well compete against services that the Boys and Girls Club and the American Legion can and could provide.
Mr. Pike attributes drug use by local teens to be directly tied to them not having anything to do. If rec. centers cured drug use we would be building them nation wide faster than we would be building schools (especially the leaking crumbling ones that you see daily throughout the country). At last count, Grand Junction has three (3 for native), and it has not appeared to have made any difference. I can't even begin to count how many things there are to do in Denver, and ever since I can remember, teen drug use is a problem there as well.
I appreciate Mr. Pikes attempt at playing Dr. Phil. But I know that when I was in High School, for problem teens and those using drugs, playing sports or being involved in organized activities was not a priority. Partying, drinking, drug use, and other types of anti social behavior was a priority. Most sports begin in Middle School, and wrestling starts in early elementary school, and that does not appear to have worked. What is the solution, a cradle to grave rec. center!?
Mr. Pike believes that this proposal can pass because this time around the local economy is more healthy. A view that I also share, but his stand is out of step with his own city government and that of the county. They are currently stashing cash for the immenent bust they claim that is on the horizon. If the rec. center is such a pressing need, and will save the lives of hundreds of teens, and give seniors a new lease on life (can you really see these two groups of people under one roof?) maybe we should fund this with all that stashed city and county cash.

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Really 6 years, 1 month ago

I have read this forum for a long time but haven't posted because of being blasted for my beliefs - but I can't stand it anymore! So only 10% of people voted? If everyone was so against the increase, why didn't they vote? All my friends and I were for the hospital and school being built and we voted. You don't get "do-overs" in real life!
Why are we all griping about who's going to pay for a rec. center, should it ever happen? Look at Rock Springs, look at what's going on in Meeker - the gas and oil companies are funding part if not all of rec. centers in towns where they have lots of work and impact - and I think we are becoming one of those. Why doesn't someone go after them for some of their huge profits? As far as growth in Craig goes, I think it's a done deal. I drove around the other day and looked at all the new buildings and businesses going in (which, someone in this forum said were all shut down because of no $$, in another thread a few weeks ago) and was amazed. The times they are a changin' and I think it's for the better. I don't want higher taxes, but do you all realize that we have some of the lowest property taxes in the country? Don't let them get you down, Native! If they want Craig to stay the same forever they might want to relocate to someplace like Dinosaur or Crawford.

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grannyrett 6 years, 1 month ago

Three cheers for Rainbow. A town that is not growing is dying. A new hospital and school are signs of that growth. It's like Rainbow said. It is sad that only 10% of the people voted on such an important issue, but that is the way it goes. The ones who don't vote are the ones who complain the loudest. It is your duty to get informed and vote in this country. If you don't, you don't have any right to complain about the outcome. If a new hospital is low on your list of priorities, you should help to get out the vote of people who are against it. It passed. There is no going back. It doesn't do any good to gripe about it now.

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