AVON — A recreational improvements tax failed to find as much support from voters Tuesday as it found from the Town Council in the months leading up to the election.
The tax, which would have raised roughly $12.5 million to fund improvements, including a widening of the Avon Recreation Center, was defeated by a narrow margin, according to unofficial results released early this morning.
“I’m disappointed,” said Mayor Rich Carroll. “But that’s the great thing about the process, we heard from people.”
The proposed tax was a continuation of a decades old mill levy that’s set to drop off soon, plus a little extra. Now that the original tax, which funded the Avon roundabouts, is not being continued, owners of Avon homes valued at $300,000 can expect to see their taxes decrease by roughly $6.02 per month, and owners of a commercial property valued at $300,000 will see a decrease of roughly $21.45 per month.
In addition to funding recreational improvements, ballot issue 2A would have freed up money in the general fund for other, non-recreational improvements to the town.
Carroll said the council will discuss which items included in the tax proposal will be able to be absorbed into the general fund. Included in the proposal was a $275,000 remodel of a restroom area in town, which prior to Tuesday, Carroll said should happen regardless of the tax being passed or rejected.
“We won’t be able to do as much as we would like, but now we know what people want and we’ll have to be as efficient as possible,” Carroll said.
The tax received a great deal of support from the Town Council in the months leading up to Tuesday’s election, with the question of putting it on the November ballot receiving near unanimous approval.
Councilman Jake Wolf was the only town of Avon representative to openly oppose the tax, voting against sending it to the ballot in its second reading.
“I didn’t like how it seemed like the council was trying to influence people’s vote towards it,” he said. “Also, I felt like maybe it wasn’t the right time, and it was a take-it-or-leave-it deal with no room to make it an a la carte kind of thing.”