Survey to town voters shows 70 percent support Community Recreation Center expansion
August 2, 2014
CRC expansion basics
In a letter to town residents last month, Mayor John Vazquez said over the past decade the town’s population has doubled and the recreation center has seen a 218 percent increase in demand for programming.
To meet those needs, the town is considering asking voters whether they would like to raise the town’s sales tax by 0.75 percent, or 7.5 cents on a $10 purchase, to fund a $16.1 million bond to expand of the current center.
The expansion would include a leisure pool, lap lanes, water slide, auxiliary gym, track, aerobics and wellness studios, expanded locker rooms, a supervised child area, a classroom/party room and additional parking.
While there would be space for fitness equipment, the town board decided the equipment itself will not be included in the project, as it could compete with existing fitness centers in town. Instead, the board has said the town could partner with a private gym to provide the equipment and programming later on.
Town Manager Kelly Arnold has said previously the town is looking at a 20-year bond, which would go to market in 2015, providing the money for the expansion. The town would use 0.55 percent of the sales tax increase to fund the bond’s annual payments over the next 20 years, while the other 0.20 percent would be set aside specifically for ongoing maintenance at the recreation center.
About 70 percent of Windsor residents support the idea of a tax increase to expand the Community Recreation Center, according to a survey conducted by George K. Baum and presented to the Windsor Town Board on Monday.
Don Diones, president of George K. Baum — a consultant group — said the mail survey was sent to more than 6,800 active voters in town and about 1,000 surveys were returned. He cautioned that the survey was not a scientific poll and was not a predictor of a ballot measure's likely success or failure, however it provided a "general undertone of the electorate."
"That's an awesome response," Diones said.
About 42 percent of the respondents have lived in Windsor more than 10 years, 66 percent don't have school-age children, 93 percent own a home, about half currently use the recreation center and 88 percent said they had at least some awareness of the idea to expand the recreation center, Diones said.
About 62 percent of respondents said that their initial reaction to the proposal would be to support it and 70 percent said they would vote "yes" on the ballot question if the election was held today.
According to the survey responses, the most popular aquatic programs in the survey were open swim, lap swim and water aerobics. The most popular fitness programs were muscle-conditioning classes, resistance training classes and boot camps. The most popular adult programs were indoor walking, health and wellness and cooking. The most popular senior classes were genealogy, knitting and sewing classes and a lounge area. The most popular youth classes were summer activity camps, school break camps and arts and crafts. Other popular programs included an open gym, pool parties and a climbing wall.
Diones said the survey results showed there was no overriding concern presented in the open-ended questions and those who did mention a concern about the project focused on the total cost, future operating costs, tax increase and inadequacy of the size of project.
To view the full results online, go to http://www.windsorgov.com/DocumentCenter/View/11400.