Support for rec center midvalley? | AspenTimes.com

Support for rec center midvalley?

Scott CondonAspen, CO Colorado

Results of a new survey suggest the time is ripe for a recreation center in the midvalley.The survey showed that a majority of midvalley residents are willing to pay higher taxes for a facility – especially if it includes an indoor swimming pool.”I think it shows we’re heading in the right direction as far as recreation needs,” said Bill Reynolds, executive director of the MidValley Metropolitan District, which commissioned the survey.The metro district handles water and sewer service in part of the midvalley, but recreation is also in its purview. The organization decided last year to test the water on demand for a rec center.In April, a mailing to 3,763 midvalley households invited them to fill out the survey. It generated an 18 percent response rate when 659 households accepted the offer.The results indicate that midvalley residents want to follow Aspen, Glenwood Springs and Snowmass Village, all of which have built a recreation center this decade.An indoor pool was the feature most in demand among midvalley residents. Twenty-two percent of respondents labeled it the most important feature that should be included, and 88 percent listed it among their top three priorities.Respondents also want cardio equipment, fitness classes and weight-training equipment.But are midvalley residents willing to put their money where their muscles are? At this point in the embryonic plan, the answer is “yes.”When asked if they would support a tax increase to pay for construction and operation of a rec center, 53 percent said yes, while 30 percent said no and 17 percent were uncertain.The broadest support came from households of families. Singles and empty nesters weren’t as likely to tax themselves for the facility, an executive summary of the results said.Reynolds said he that level of support impressed him, considering it is so early in the process. The margin of error in the survey was plus or minus 3.45 percent.The survey was intended to determine if the idea of a recreation center should be pursued further. Reynolds said the results appear to justify the effort.MidValley Metropolitan District has retained a recreation consultant, GreenPlay, of Broomfield, to help plot its course. The district is working with the Crown Mountain Park and Recreation District and the town of Basalt on plans for an indoor facility.Any effort to raise property taxes or sales taxes would require a vote by residents in the targeted area.Reynolds said the next step will be hosting a series of public meetings to present the survey results and further define public demands. No meeting is scheduled currently.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com


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