Voters will decide fate of rec center Tuesday

— West Routt County voters will decide Tuesday if they are willing to pay higher property taxes for a recreation center in Hayden.
In Tuesday's election, voters in Hayden and Milner are being asked to approve a $5.6 million recreation construction bond and a $400,000 maintenance mill levy.
According to the proposal, the construction bond would be paid back in 25 years at an interest rate of 7 percent, meaning the total cost of the project would be $11.3 million. With voter approval, taxes in the district would increase $575,000 per year.
The recreation committee is estimating an owner of a $100,000 home would pay about $11.90 more per month for the new building.
To pay back the bond, that resident would pay $81.88 more per year in property taxes, or about $6.82 per month. The other $5 a month of increased taxes would help pay for the operations and upkeep of the center.
For commercial property, the combined tax increase would be almost three times as much.
A business would pay about $243 for every $100,000 of assessed property value for the bond repayment. Added to that would be $181.60 for the operational mill levy.
Voters also will decide on Tuesday whether to approve the formation of the recreation district (Referendum 5C) and who will serve on the recreation district board of directors.
Members of the West Routt Recreation Committee are making a final push to promote the approval of the recreation center.
"We have yard signs out and we are planning on distributing 1,000 door hangers this week," said Connie Luppes, a member of the committee. "We have met with all the organizations in Hayden. We have brought them up to speed and have asked them for their support."
As the election fast approaches, the committee believes the vote will be close.
"We have been hearing a lot of good things," Luppes said. "But we are also hearing some negative comments."
The increase in taxes has been the major opposition to the committee's cause to bring a facility to town that would include an indoor swimming pool, weight room, kitchen and day care.
Frank Roitsch, manager of the Hayden Power Plant, said he is not against a recreation center but is against using taxpayer dollars to provide the facility.
"There are other priorities in town that are more important than a recreation center," he said. "The concept is very good; we just need a different way to fund this."
If voters approve the creation of the West Routt Recreation District, they also will decide who will serve on the district's board of directors.
The board will consist of three seats with terms of four years. Three candidates are vying for these positions: Michael Luppes, Alex Epp and Tammy Mader.
Two seats will have two-year terms. Vying for these positions are three candidates: Richard Bush, Eva Gibbon and Mark Klapperich.

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