Further steps taken with potential new rec center | CraigDailyPress.com

Further steps taken with potential new rec center

Ellen Fike
For Craig Press
A rendering of the potential recreation district in Moffat County.

The Craig City Council was updated Tuesday about the planned recreation district and approved a resolution supporting the plan.

Elise Sullivan, spokeswoman for the Northwest Colorado Recreation Foundation, presented a service plan for a proposed recreation district to the council Tuesday.

“We’ve been working really hard for the last three years since the closure of the high school pool, since there’s no indoor swimming in all of Moffat County available publicly,” Sullivan said. “So, we have a vision for a recreation center.”

The foundation is proposing the creation of a recreation district, which would finance, construct and operate a recreation and aquatic center either in or near Craig. The district could also acquire, develop and manage other park and recreation facilities and programs within the area.

It is intended that the district would be managed by five board members, who would be elected at large.

The proposed rec center would have a gym, indoor swimming pools, fitness rooms and equipment, community gathering spaces and other facilities. Additionally, the programs at the rec center may include swim lessons, day camps, youth and adult sport leagues, art, dance and much more.

Sullivan told the council that the foundation intends to put two types of funding for the rec center on the ballot in November, one for a construction bond and another for a mill levy that would actually fund the building and its programs.

The project is expected to cost around $25.4 million to complete, $18.2 million of which would be dedicated for construction costs. The operations and maintenance cost for the first year of the rec center’s opening is estimated to be around $1.7 million.

However, to offset some of these costs, the district will charge fees for the rec center and its programs (such as using annual, family or day passes and for facility rentals), which are expected to generate revenue.

The service plan detailed the need for the rec center in the county, as around 25% of Moffat County’s residents are under the age of 18, so this would especially be helpful for families in the area.

The plan also noted that the closest indoor swimming pool is in Meeker, which is around 50 miles away. While Craig does have a public outdoor swimming pool, it is only open from Labor Day to Memorial Day.

Construction on the rec center likely wouldn’t start until at least 2023 and then it would take about two years to complete, Sullivan said.

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