Mountain Recreation’s elected board and staff are not taking any time off following Tuesday’s Eagle County local election. In a tight race, district voters did not approve ballot measure 6A, that would have funded major capital improvements across the District’s three service hubs. The Board will meet Friday, November 5 to digest the results and chart a course forward toward their vision of ‘everybody deserves to be healthy and happy’.
All Access Rec was prompted by extensive community engagement and feedback over the past three years, that revealed critical need and community interest to expand facility space. These expansions would ensure equal access for a rapidly growing population. This inescapable reality will continue to face the district as it is currently beyond capacity and the population growth of Eagle County shows no signs of slowing down.
Ballot measure 6A included $70 million in facility improvements to convert seasonal recreation centers to year-round community centers for all ages at a cost to taxpayers of only $60 million, in part thanks to an additional $6 million pledged by partners.
“The need is there, we can’t in good conscience look the other way. It’s clear our community wants to see these improvements. However, voters have told us that even with partner funding, the cost to taxpayers is still too high,” offers Board President Liz Jones. “Access, especially during peak hours is a problem. We’re going back to the drawing board to identify how we can meet the demand of our community. We invite everyone to participate, including those that were not involved in the conversation previously. It takes a community.”
Among space expansions, All Access Rec aimed to transform current recreation facilities into multi-generational and multicultural community centers. For older adults, a growing demographic in Eagle County, this would mean creating accessible spaces necessary to house programs to be physically active and social. For youth, this would mean spaces that offer opportunities to socialize, develop friendships, and support one another, in a safe and semi-supervised environment, all of which is critically important for healthy youth development.
“The District will continue to evaluate options available to fund our community’s desired improvements, while ensuring equal access for all and that tax dollars are used wisely, “said Jones. “The process will take longer to accomplish this way, but the effort is worthwhile since the impacts brought to the community are critical to offering pro-social activities and positive youth development.”
“I’d like to thank everyone who participated in an open house, completed a survey, shared feedback at a special event, and who came out to support the effort,” said Janet Bartnik, Executive Director at Mountain Rec. “We’re going to continue to work hard to continue the evolution of Mountain Rec to a place where there is something for everyone and everyone is doing it.”