CARD will discuss aquatic center funding options tonight

18 Feb

Chico Area Rec District will meet tonight, 7pm, at California Park Lakeside Pavillion.  From the Enterprise Record:

More about the proposed aquatic center that the Chico Area Recreation and Park District is considering will come up at the next board meeting, 7 p.m. Thursday at Lakeside Pavilion, 2565 California Park Drive.

Aquatic Design Group will make a formal presentation of its feasibility study for a new aquatics center. CARD is paying the Carlsbad company $50,000 for the study, which is supposed to outline what the community wants. It has been gathering community input since last year.

In addition, SCI Consulting Group will discuss possible facilities funding during the meeting.

In 2013, SCI was working with the recreation district when CARD nixed moving ahead with an assessment or parcel tax to pay for new facilities.

With the aquatic center on a front burner for CARD, the board wants to hear about funding options.

Yes, the survey run in 2013 came back “negative,” respondents indicating they would not be willing to fund this center through taxes. It was not so much a survey as a push poll, in my opinion – questions leading toward the conclusion that our kids will all be on drugs if we don’t pay for an aquatic center. 

Aquatic Design Group was unable to find out what “the public” wants because their workshops were only attended by 25 – 30 people, most of whom are members of Aqua Jets. 

The Aquatic Center is “on the front burner”? Wow, that is so funny given the denials I’ve received from staff over the last year or so. 

Why isn’t the skate park “on the front burner”? The skate park already exists, in a state of total disgrace. The group of respectable users that came forward with ideas to change the skate park from a public nuisance to a usable public facility  was told to raise their own money, for a facility that is owned by CARD. But here the board is studying “funding options” for a center that Aquatic Design Group admitted would be used by about 15 percent of our population.

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2 Responses to “CARD will discuss aquatic center funding options tonight”

  1. Jim February 19, 2016 at 8:08 am #

    So CARD has backed off a little on the Aquatic Center, and will now look at a more expensive comprehensive series of projects.

    However the last paragraph in this mornings ER puzzled me:

    “It seemed that the board was considering putting a parcel tax measure on the November ballot, but the board started talking about the benefits assessment, which is not linked to an election, but an issue put to property owners via a mailed ballot.”

    So what is a “benefits assessment”?

    • Juanita Sumner February 19, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

      Thanks Jim, you always ask the question I forgot to ask.

      I think a benefits assessment is a ballot sent around to property owners by mail, like the one Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District used to put that last little item on our property taxes. It’s really weird because it gives property owners who own bigger parcels and stuff like apartment buildings more “votes.” I really don’t understand it fully, and when I asked former CARD director Jerry Haynes about the process, he hung up on me.

      In the case of BCMVCD, they only had to get 58 percent of “the vote”, and they barely got it. That may be the deal with CARD.

      Sorry, I’ve been looking into this for a while, and I have more questions than answers. I’ll keep working on it.

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