GJ Community Center would bring sales tax increase

Published: Sep. 20, 2018 at 4:13 PM MDT
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Grand Junction City Council unanimously approved placing a question on the April 2019 Municipal Ballot to help fund a new recreation center. To do it, they would ask voters to raise the sales tax.

"People have been talking about wanting a community center for years here,” said Andreya Krieves, Chairperson for the Grand Junction Community Center Campaign.

Voters could make it happen, but a sales tax hike would have to be approved. Those campaigning for the rec center say that could range anywhere from 1/3 to 3/4ths of a cent per dollar.

"Lazy rivers and play areas for kids, as well as lap lanes but also warm water therapy pool, also people wanted to see courts and gym space,” said Krieves.

If approved, it could break ground less than 15 months from now.

"So the primary facility would be here at Matchett Park and then one of the things we heard in feedback from our community was that we should also consider using existing spaces. And so with Orchard Mesa already having a great pool and an already existing gym, we would be looking at potentially renovating those facilities and maybe even looking at some of the classrooms from the Orchard Mesa Middle School to turn into community spaces,” said Krieves.

Fruita already has a community center, which has more than 185,000 visitors a year.

"So, we are starting to feel a little bit of pressure in terms of usage here at the community center,” said Ture Nycum, Director of Fruita Parks and Recreation.

Good for business, but high demand could mean overcrowding.

"What do we do in the future, because we're almost outgrowing it in certain times of the year and so having another place to go wouldn't hurt, cause we are going to continue to grow out here in Fruita,” said Fruita Mayor Joel Kincaid.

The Fruita Mayor says if their rec center is any indication of the success, voters should say yes.

"I really wouldn't view them as a competitor I would view them really more as a partner more than anything,” said Nycum.

The City of Grand Junction says they'd ask to increase the sales by no more than 3/4 of a cent on every dollar.

"We want to get the word out, we still have this small window of time to get any last input from our neighbors and our community members,” said Krieves.

They are having a fun run this Saturday to raise awareness for this project, registration starts at 9 a.m.

The entire project is estimated to cost roughly $50 million.

More information is to the right of this article.

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