Moffat County has enough recreational opportunities
To the Editor:
The Sept. 3 and Sept. 4 editions of the Craig Daily Press discuss the proposed recreation center for Craig. I know that it has been under discussion for some time, but I was unaware of the stage that it apparently is in.
My not being aware of the situation is largely my own doing, as I haven’t participated in the discussions prior to this. Congratulations to the high school government class for attending the council meeting regarding the recreation center. My input into this process would have been better served if I had done the same!
Although many of the items that are to be included in the recreation project would be nice to have, much is already provided for by current facilities. For example, Craig has a decent swimming and wave pool, and Shadow Mountain has a small facility as does Moffat County High School.
There are numerous tennis courts throughout the city, which seem to be used sparingly. Craig has super facilities for soccer, with several fields, as well as those provided by Moffat County. Multiple softball fields are available with both county and city contributing.
The college (Trapper Health Club) currently has racquetball courts and weight-lifting programs as does the Moffat County High School.
There are track facilities, paths, malls, sidewalks and mountains for hiking or walking. There are several gymnasiums spread throughout the community. There is fishing, boating, shooting ranges and bowling. There are bicycle riding clubs, motocross tracks, and access to snowmobiling and even cross country skiing.
And an excellent golf course as well!
I know of no indoor shooting area, but if it is viable, perhaps someone would invest in it.
Craig also has roping, both indoor and out I believe.
The area has an indoor ice rink for general skating and ice hockey programs and some park facilities for skateboards.
Are all these services not adequate to serve the needs of the community?
If we provide the proposed recreation center for the estimated $13.4 million, what additional funds are going to be required for annual operation and maintenance? How will user fees be structured, and will they be affordable to all?
Also being considered for the community is a new hospital (around $15 million), fairgrounds improvements (around $11 million) and expansion of college ($?? millions). Regardless which entity funds these projects, it ultimately will be born by the taxpayers from the same tax base.
So, if we are intent on increased taxes and spending money, let’s consider the best use for these funds. Should they be used to maintain the many current facilities we have? Should additional funds be used for city sidewalks, etc., or should we look at other projects and community needs other than additional recreation?
Now what don’t we have? One major item which we no longer have is a rest home for the elderly. It is unfortunate that we must send our loved ones some distance from Craig and separate them from their families.
I would prefer to have my tax monies allocated to such a facility or to maintenance of current facilities, rather than add to adequate recreation facilities, especially since we are in a period of declining tax base (power plant revenue, sales tax revenue and mineral and oil/gas exploration revenue) and even agricultural revenue.
Vote your personal convictions in November!
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