CAÑON CITY — The possibility of a new year-round recreation center coming to Cañon City will soon be at the mercy of voters.
In the upcoming election, a property tax increase of $44.47 and $25, respectively, per $100,000 of a home’s actual market value, will be proposed to help fund the project.
The items will be 6A & 6B on the ballots. The center would be built in an empty field just across from the Holy Cross Abbey and launch in 2024.
"The prices on these facilities are going up and up and up and right now with bond prices... We'll be able to get the best financing we're probably ever going to get for this thing," said Jim Johnson, President of Board of Directors for Cañon City Area Recreation & Parks District.
Three similar property tax increases have been proposed in the past in 1989, 2000, and 2006 which all failed.
"I think when you break it down, it is a doable amount for most homeowners... on top of what they pay in property tax, but I know any increase right now is not welcomed really," said Celeste Wilson, Owner of Chrysalis Consignment on Main Street.
Business owners, like Wilson, seem to agree that a recreation center will be good for tourism in Cañon City.
"I think it would keep people in our town, bring people from other communities, and if we could get other employment and companies, it would create better economic stability for our community," said Wilson.
The current community pool in Cañon City has "passed its useful lifetime" according to Johnson.
"It's wreaking havoc on our recreation budget because we have to subsidize it so heavily with repairs," said Johnson.
The current pool will ultimately close, no matter how the vote turns out for the recreation center.
"Don't just initially say no because it's a tax questions. This is something our community really needs from an economic standpoint to be able to recruit good jobs in here," said Johnson.