Letter: Lots of downside to rec center
November 2, 2013
Lots of downside to rec center
I can understand a working mother of three kids supporting the building a new rec facility serviced by scheduled bus service. Her life would get a whole lot less complicated.
To assert that the building of a 60,000-square-foot rec center in Basalt by raising property taxes would be an amenity that would improve property values is hogwash.
Increasing the tax burden to fund an indoor running track and year-round swimming facility will not make our homes more valuable.
Unless a property is within walking distance of this proposed new rec center, an increase in property taxes will negatively impact the value of a home and will negatively impact the value of commercial real estate, which is the bedrock of a small town's quality of life.
Building this facility would pressure the livelihoods of the small businesses that provide recreational services and the landlords that rent space to them. I am talking about the gym clubs, Crossfit facilities, yoga studios, karate dojo, etc.
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All of these facilities have personalities of their own, and it is this messy vitality that is part of the joy of small-town living. Housing all of these activities under one roof would homogenize them and would be a mistake.
Building a year-round swimming facility that makes the seasonal pools in Basalt and Carbondale redundant is wasteful. If we need a year-round swimming facility, why not enclose one or both of the public pools in Basalt and Carbondale?
It has been reported that Basalt sales tax revenue increased 25 percent over last year. Allocate a part of these "new funds" for tax credits for recreation businesses and their landlords.
Do not increase property taxes on commercial real estate and make it more expensive to run businesses in the valley.
If we really need additional indoor swimming facilities in the valley, then increase homeowners' property taxes to update/expand/enclose the swimming facilities we already own and fund a runners club with winter uniforms.