Survey shows support for midvalley recreation center
EL JEBEL – A strong majority of midvalley residents indicated in a recent survey that they would approve higher property taxes to pay for a recreation center and its annual operations, according to results released Wednesday by Crown Mountain Park and Recreation District.
The results showed 39 percent of respondents would “definitely” support a tax to pay off a bond issuance to construct the facility and another 25 percent would “probably” vote that way, for a total of 64 percent.
In a separate question, 65 percent of respondents said they would approve a property tax to raise funds for operations of the facility.
Both property taxes were opposed by 29 percent of the respondents, the results said.
“It seemed to be a pretty strong endorsement of what we’re trying to do,” said Mark Fuller, a consultant for the recreation district. The support wasn’t a surprise but the strength of it was, he said.
A majority of respondents also said they would support paying a fee, in addition to the property tax, to support a facility.
The concept of a midvalley recreation center has been discussed for the last two years. Proponents have concluded the best site is Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel, the site where the Eagle County Community Center is located.
The recreation district commissioned a survey earlier this spring to find out if residents want the facility, what amenities they want and if they are willing to pay for it.
About 2,900 surveys were delivered by mail to midvalley residents and 500 postcards were sent to district residents directing them to an online version of the survey. The sample size of the survey was 713, for a response rate of 21 percent. The district consultant said that was statistically valid.
Fuller said another critical finding was that respondents supported a “core facility” without add-ons like indoor or outdoor ice rinks, a competitive pool or indoor tennis courts.
The core facility would include a gym, exercise space for activities like gymnastics, space for aerobic machines and weigh training, an indoor running track, a climbing wall, a game room, a class room and party room that could be rented for activities, a public event hall and a leisure pool with possibly two or three lap lanes, according to Fuller.
Crown Mountain’s board of directors will host a meeting to discuss the results on June 30. The meeting will be at 6 p.m. at the Eagle County building in El Jebel.
The next step, Fuller said, will be to determine whether or not to go to voters for funding in November or wait until next year. The district must also seek an amendment to its approvals from Eagle County government.
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