Edwards: An alternative bond proposal for Mountain Rec
Often times, criticism is made that people are opposed to something but they offer no solution, merely an objection. Accepting this criticism, the following is offered as an alternative to just voting “no” on the unfair taxation ballot question that Mountain Recreation is proposing.
Vote the current issue down and come back to the recreation district voters with an alternate proposal that offers a fair split of the $60 million funding ($40 million bond and $20 million contribution by “alternative sources”). From this proposed alternative bond issue and alternative funding, give either $20 million to each hub, divide it in proportion to each hub’s population or divide it proportionally to each hub according to their tax contribution.
The reason for doing this is that each hub has reached its current level of recreation facilities by decisions that have been made or not made by the hub’s residents, metro districts and/or boards.
Edwards’ recreation facility is 100% owned by Mountain Recreation and was built with $3 million from its last bond issue and the rest from Mountain Recreation district (then WECMRD) funds paid for by the entire district.
Eagle’s recreation facility was built by the choice of the town as an outdoor pool and indoor ice rink using its $3 million from the previous bond. It is owned 50/50 by Eagle and Mountain Recreation. Since completion of the Eagle facility, the town has chosen to invest in a whitewater park as an additional recreation opportunity and has worked to create an impressive mountain bike trail system.
Gypsum used the $3 million from the last bond issue and put together another $10.5 million to fund its recreation center and surrounding park. Gypsum is currently looking at plans for additional outdoor pickle ball courts, possibilities for the existing outdoor pool, improvements to the golf course club house area and creation of a community center. These are in addition to maintenance and expanded gymnasium for the recreation center, the only things included in the current bond issue for Gypsum.
If this more equitable proposal were to be voted on and passed, the funding would likely be somewhere in the range of $20 to $23 million for Edwards, $18 to $20 million for Eagle and $19 to $20 million for Gypsum.
This solution offers a fairer way to disperse the funds that are collected from each hub. If hubs prioritize additional recreational amenities beyond what the equal funding arrangement would provide, it would be up to the citizens of the respective hub to vote for necessary funding. A fairer distribution of funds would show that Mountain Recreation recognizes the contribution of each community in the past and an equitable way to provide improvements to hubs in the future.
Vote “no” on the current bond proposal and replace it with one that distributes district funds more equitably.
Tom Edwards serves on the Gypsum Town Council where he is mayor pro tem.