Larry Banman: Meeting planned to discuss recreation center in Kremmling |

Larry Banman: Meeting planned to discuss recreation center in Kremmling

It’s time for the next step.

If you are interested in the progress of a potential recreation district in west Grand County, mark Nov. 14 on your calendar and plan to attend an open house at the West Grand Middle School, starting with walking tours from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and ending with a discussion from 7:30 to 8 p.m.

One of the primary goals of the recreation district organization committee is to provide a facility that would serve as a community center, providing space for a wide variety of community services. A recreation district is one vehicle that can be used to provide a regular source of revenue for that goal. The community center would be used for recreation, but there are other options as well. On the recreation side, there is the gymnasium and space for a modest sized swimming pool. On the community center side, there is the potential for a variety of options. The best way to visualize the possibilities is to be on site and take a short walking tour. That is the purpose of the Nov. 4 meeting.

There is much to consider. The middle school building will no longer be utilized by the school district after the new PK-8 building opens in January 2008.

There are certainly a number of people who would like to see the building sold and the money used by the school district. There are also a number of people who believe the existing building is a valuable asset for community services.

Since I moved to town in 1989, there has been interest in a swimming pool. This is the most viable option that I have seen since there was talk of a local Job Corps center in the early 1990s.

The organization committee is not naive about financial issues. There is a limit to what people can and will pay, even for something they desire. A number of factors come into play in making that decision. The school district recently passed a bond for the new building. The hospital district is considering an election in which it would ask its electorate to drop the current property tax in favor of a sales tax. The Town of Kremmling is working at repairing its infrastructure, including a water delivery system that is in critical condition. Town officials are looking for financing that will have the least amount of financial impact on town residents but it would be naive to think there won’t be some cost to the local residents and businesses. A one-mill tax in west Grand County, would generate approximately $90,000. That won’t go far in the world of building and maintaining swimming pools.

However, the crux of the issue is this. The window of opportunity for obtaining the middle school building is open for a short period of time. One of the options the recreation district committee has considered is building the community center with recreation facilities in phases. Start small and get a good base of operations and then work on obtaining funding for future expansion possibilities.

In our system of government, decisions about property taxes are made by the people who pay those property taxes and the people who live in the affected area. Taxation without representation was one of the reasons we got into that tiff with Great Britain a couple of centuries ago. However, an offense that is almost as bad is when people are not given the information they need to make an informed decision. Hand in hand with that offense, and almost more inexcusable is when people choose not to become informed.

One of the main purposes of the meeting on Nov. 14 is to have an open meeting of minds in a forum that allows for rationale discussion.

Come to the meeting to voice your opinion.

But also come with a mind open to the possibilities.

” Larry Banman, a Ski-Hi Daily News weekly columnist, is also a member of the Kremmling recreation district organization committee.

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