Rec center campaign put on hold | CraigDailyPress.com

Rec center campaign put on hold

Collin Smith

— The Community Recreation Center Steering Committee will hold off on asking local residents to fund a new rec center.

During its Tuesday night meeting at Craig City Hall, the group decided to plan for a ballot question to fund construction in November 2009, at the earliest.

The group previously considered a question in the past general election Nov. 4, or during the April 2009 election.

The ballot question would ask Moffat County voters to raise taxes for the project. Possible avenues discussed were a 1-cent sales tax increase or collecting grants and other financial gifts from private donors.

“I think we ought to wait because of the fact of the economy and the way it is,” steering committee member Tony St. John said. “It’s just not the right time.”

Committee member Erin Miller added she thinks the group should stay flexible with the date and not do anything too soon, even if that pushes the ballot question past 2009.

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No one present at the steering committee’s Tuesday night meeting wanted to give up on the project, though. Several members said they thinks a rec center would benefit Moffat County.

Terry Crouse, 58, said some in the community have the mistaken impression that a rec center is only about having fun.

Crouse suffers from fibromyalgia, a disorder that causes pain throughout her muscles and joints. Exercise can help lessen her symptoms, but only if it is not a high-impact activity, such as lifting weights or running long distances.

Swimming in a pool, however, has been helpful, Crouse said.

“The pool has been excellent,” she said. “It’s changed my life.”

Crouse worries Craig’s two indoor pools – run by the American Legion and Moffat County School District – may not be around for many more years. Both have had sporadic and sometimes very costly problems that prevent them from staying open.

Other steering committee members also brought up economic benefits to the community, such as making Craig into a more attractive community for businesses and professionals who want to relocate.

St. John said the rec center can include other attractions besides what is found in a health club, such as a large convention room and other meeting space that might bring more visitors to the area.

The steering committee will next meet at 7 p.m. Jan. 20, when a representative from Sink Combs Dethlefs will appear to discuss the project’s future. Dethlefs is a Denver-based architecture firm hired to help the group hold community meetings and put together a budget and preliminary plan design for the types of attractions the community wants.

The group won’t meet in December because of the holidays.