GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.
Voters have thought twice about taking the plunge into building a new community center in Grand Junction, but maybe three times really is a charm. Chad Magee is ready for a brand new community center. “We have a lot of surrounding communities that have really nice community centers, recreation centers and we’re just kind of getting left behind.”
City Council adopted the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan (PROS) and part of the plan is to get public feedback on what’s most important for all things recreation, and the public wants a community center. Chad’s daughter, Charlotte says, “I think it would be cool to have a new community center, and I do love the pool, and I just think community centers are cool.”
In response to the survey, City Council held a workshop to answer some questions, and one is: where will the center be built? Commissioner Dennis Simpson helps answer the question. “There are several options where it could be built, but the one that seems to be leading the way is Lincoln Park,” said Simpson.
But, the biggest question is: how will the new multi-million dollar center be paid for? “Paying for it is still a more difficult a more difficult job to explain, but it’s going to require a bond issue of some kind and voter approval,” said Simpson.
Voters turned down a new community center and the tax increase to pay for it in 2001 and 2019, but now, since marijuana sales tax revenue might possibly pay for part of the new center; will voters dive into the concept? Simpson helps answer the question, yet again. Simpson says, “There’s a tie between the rec center and the marijuana tax that will start to be collected next year sometime.” “Go figure how that works out! Well, that got passed. So, there you go. All lights point to the green,” said Chad Magee.
The PROS plan identifies over $157 million in priorities and marijuana revenue is projected to be $2.9 million in the first year of collection, according to the workshop session summary. One council member says that’s a very small part of the project total and the other revenue would have to come from a sales tax, vaping tax, and tobacco tax increase.