Craig Any proposal to come from the Community Recreation Center Steering Committee would be just that: Any recreation center the community wants, Committee member Tony St. John said.
"Whatever is in the past, we're starting all over again," St. John said. "We can change anything."
With that message, St. John asked the assembled group of about 20 at Wednesday's Recreation Steering Committee meeting to bring four other people with them for the group's next meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. April 29 at Craig City Hall.
He wants them to share their opinions.
Those in attendance spoke of their hopes for a new center, from free pools and lap pools to walking tracks and "just more gym space," said Dave Pike, Parks and Recreation Department director, agreeing with the others.
The community's hopes and wishes are central to any upcoming campaign, St. John said.
A future campaign for a possible sales tax increase to fund the center would have to focus on making the public aware that the center would be built for everyone, he said.
"Old, young, bearded," he said, pointing to Pike's growing and gray facial hair, an entry in the Craig Centennial Celebration's Brothers of the Brush beard-growing competition.
Although, it likely will not be easy, St. John added.
Sometimes, rallying the community to spend money is difficult, he said, noting even when the end result of that money spent is a boon to the community.
"When I was on (Craig) City Council, long time ago, we used to say people don't like change," he said. "I remember Woodbury Park. We caught (grief) for that, but now look at Triple Crown and all the other events that are held there.
"It's been, not a goldmine, but really worthwhile for the revenue that came into this community."
A nice recreation center, St. John said, could help Craig and Moffat County continue their current trends of economic growth and expansion.
"I am excited about it, and I don't want the bubble to pop," he said.
Steering Committee Chairperson Toni Keleher said the community's physical health is an issue in addition to its economic health.
"We all want a place to go so we can move our bodies in the wintertime," she said. "We can spend our money on something positive."
The Committee left Wednesday's meeting with some steps moving forward laid out.
The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board - of which the recreation center group is a sub-committee - plans to hold a work session with the City Council on April 22, before its regular meeting.
The session is slated to focus on the recreation center and possible projects at the City Park pools, Pike said.
The Steering Committee plans to address the Council that night.
Pike said he is looking for the recreation center's previous consultants and architects, Sink Combs Dethlefs, to have a presentation ready for the Council - addressing costs and preliminary plans - by that date.
There is not a cost to bringing in Sink Combs for that meeting and no money has been spent on the consultants so far, Pike said.
Before the city puts a recreation center on the ballot, Pike said he would like the Steering Committee to go before the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and other groups for possible grants.
In the 2003 election, when a different recreation center proposal was voted down, DOLA had granted $1.2 million for the project, on the condition the city approved tax revenue bonds. DOLA withdrew the grant after the recreation center failed.
The Committee has not decided whether to pursue a ballot question in the November 2008 or April 2009 general elections.