Not Supporting The Rec District Vote
To the Editor:
On September 15, 2008 the Park R3 Board of Education passed a resolution that “supports the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District in their efforts to continue to provide quality recreational programs and make significant improvements to the Aquatics Center in an effort to help attract young families to our community, and to provide our students and community members with year round recreational opportunities.” In my view this was not an endorsement of the forthcoming ballot questions 4C and 4D. For me a vote in favor of the resolution was to support the EVRPD’s mission to provide recreation to the citizens of the district.
In fact, I am, and have been against the ballot questions since their inception. The EVRPD has the revenue necessary to20provide for the increase of their half of the Aquatics Center. Their board must reprioritize their budget to make it happen.
As for the building of a “Community Center”, the EVRPD will be spending tax money collected for recreation on items that are not their responsibility namely the “daycare space” and “non-profit space.” The proposed operation plan for the community center is irresponsible. The EVRPD has assumed that the operating agreement with the school district will remain the same, when in fact no agreement has even been talked about or negotiated, and the current agreement ends December 31, 2008. While their proposed building plan would increase the square footage of the Aquatics Center and add play features their proposed rate increase doesn’t clearly show an addition of revenues to support the added costs of that addition.
Also, their proposed plan will be approximately $140,000 in the negative, so without the mill levy override I have to question whether or not they would even be able to open the doors after it is built. Estes Valley voters have a history of passing a bond with out passing a mill levy increase to adequately fund the new project, i.e. the Intermediate School.
Nearly two years ago the Board of Education successfully convinced the community that we could no longer afford to provide maintenance, staff or keep the Elementary school open due to declining enrollment and in fact have lost approximately 1.2 million in funding.
If the EVRPD does not adequately maintain the community center and property, the school district does not and will not have the funding necessary to protect your investment. I believe the risks associated with the above ballot questions are too great for me to support them.