The Carbondale Board of Trustees was visionary and showed insight in voting to place on the upcoming April 6 ballot a proposal to sell up to $2.65 million in general obligation revenue bonds to develop and construct new park and recreational facilities for the town. The bonds will pay for building a community recreation center, development of the Gateway Riverfront Park, construction of more trails and bike paths, and developing the Carbondale Nature Park.Now its up to Carbondale voters. And there are compelling reasons for them to endorse the proposed ballot issues and vote yes on April 6.First there is Ballot Issue No. 1, which is asking voters to extend the existing 0.5 percent recreation sales tax that was approved by Carbondale voters in 1996. This tax generated $425,000 in 2003, and the tax is paid by everyone who visits and spends money in Carbondale. The ballot question reads that this tax could generate $630,000 annually when its scheduled to sunset in 2010. By allowing this tax to continue, Carbondale citizens can be assured that their community will always be provided with improved recreation services and park amenities.This past year alone, the town utilized these funds to construct a new running track at Roaring Fork High School, build a new outdoor roller hockey rink and skateboard park, install lights on the North Face Park youth baseball field, and make improvements to the Gus Darien Riding Arena.Second there is Ballot Issue No. 2, which is asking voters to allow the town to issue up to $2.65 million in revenue bonds, which would be paid back from a small portion (approximately $160,000) of the monies generated from the 0.5 percent recreation sales tax. Its the hope and desire that with voter approval, the new recreational facilities to be built will impact the lives and quality of life of our citizens, and that they will assist in building the foundation for Carbondales local economic base by attracting and drawing visitors to town.Third, there is the Parks & Recreation Needs Assessment Survey that Carbondale voters responded to last October. It identified their top four recreation improvement projects, listed above. The Board of Trustees recently adopted a resolution expressing their support for the construction and development of these projects if citizens voted yes on the ballot issues.Finally, passage of these ballot issues is consistent with Carbondales small town standards of excellence in developing our community, as seen in our library, our downtown, our schools, churches, parks, and in many other aspects of our community. Proposed projects include building a recreation center for our youth, developing a Gateway Park as a beautiful entrance into our community, constructing trails and bike paths for people of all ages, and developing the Carbondale Nature Park. These projects will bring the community together and enhance that unique quality of life that distinguishes Carbondale from so many other places this size. The town Trustees have started us off right. It is up to us to finish the job by voting yes on April 6. Jeff Jackel is the recreation director for the town of Carbondale.
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