Tuesday, November 7, 2000
Hayden A plan that took years to put together was defeated soundly by voters in the Hayden School District Tuesday.
Voters in Hayden and Milner said "no" to the creation of the West Routt Park and Recreation District. They also rejected a $5.6 million recreation center construction bond and a $400,000 maintenance mill levy.
"I am really bummed," said Eva Gibbons, a member of the West Routt Recreation Committee that proposed the project. "It was a lot of work and an excellent idea."
The tax increases lost big at the polls.
Voter Roland Smith summed it up best after voting Tuesday morning.
"I don't want to have all that tax," he said.
The facility would have included an indoor swimming pool, weight room, kitchen and day-care center.
Going into the election, the committee members felt that out of all the questions, the formation of the recreation district had the best chance of being approved, said Connie Luppes, also a member of the committee.
"If the district did not pass, the people of Hayden don't care about recreation programs or improving recreation facilities," she said. "I'm very disappointed. The district was the big one. We thought the district question had a chance. Everyone we spoke to, including the opposition, there was not much opposition to forming the district.
"No one was against the district, but they were against the construction and the mill levy."
Had the $5.6 million bond and the $400,000 mill levy been approved, taxes would have increased for home and business owners.
If voters would have approved the two tax increases, the committee estimated the owner of a $100,000 home would have paid about $12 more per month for the new recreation facility.
To pay back the construction bond, a person owning a home worth $100,000 of assessed property value would have paid about $81.88 more per year in property taxes, or $6.82 per month.
To fund the $400,000 mill levy that would have been used for operational and maintenance expenses, taxes would have increased $60.94 per $100,000 of assessed property value of a home, or about $5 per month.
For commercial property, a business would have paid about $243 for every $100,000 of assessed property value.
Still stinging from the defeat Tuesday, recreation committee members weren't sure where they'll go from here.
"It took close to 20 years to get this on the ballot," Luppes said. "We will meet again as a committee. I hope people come back strong and find a way to finance something the community needs."
"We need to educate the public better," she said. "It is a shame there was so much negativity out there. Next time maybe we should just go for the formation of the district.
"I sure hope people that are for affordable recreation will step forward and give us all their great ideas for affordable recreation, so we can join forces."