Town Board hears from citizens on rec center expansion |

Town Board hears from citizens on rec center expansion

Casey Kelly

The Windsor Town Board heard residents' opinions about the inclusion of fitness equipment in the expansion of the Community Recreation Center at a work session Feb. 24.

About 15 people sat in the audience of the board's chambers to hear board members discuss when they would like to confirm ballot language for the proposal and how the language should read.

Town Manager Kelly Arnold said the board could wait as late as August or September to set the ballot language and still meet the deadline to get the proposal on November's ballot.

Mayor John Vazquez suggested the board look at including a sunset clause for the capital portion of the project's expenses.

"I want the question that's going to be put out there to have the best chance for success, taking into consideration all the dynamics," Vazquez said. "I don't think we're ever going to come up with the single question that's going to keep 100 percent of the people happy … I am more than open to taking all of the input that I'm certain so many in the community here are wanting to share with us."

Windsor resident Regan Price spoke to the board during the work session, speaking in favor of a full build out of the center, including fitness equipment. She also started a petition on calling for the center's expansion to include fitness equipment.

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She said in speaking to community members about the project, many of the people she's heard from are interested in having fitness equipment included in the proposal.

"I have talked to some of (the Windsor Health Club's) members, and their members won't go away from them if we open up this gym," Price said. "A lot of them actually signed my petition when I talked to them but would still go to Windsor Health Club because they think that the whole community benefits."

Resident Toby Gadd, who owns a business in Fort Collins, spoke to the board in support of an expansion that includes fitness equipment, stating the kind of competition the board was trying to avoid actually would make his business better.

"I would like to see the city truly have and truly handle this facility the way it should be — for the citizens and by the citizens," Gadd said. "I think a good small business will rise to that."

Vazquez said thus far, the board has found consensus on scenario five, which includes the full build out of the brick-and-mortar building, but doesn't include fitness equipment, with the idea that the town could partner with a private gym to provide the equipment and programming later on.

He said if the private gyms in town don't step up to offer the services the community wants, the board reserves the right to provide them.

"I think we're all trying to get to the same place, it's just that this board is trying to get there in a manner where we make sure that we work with people and not step all over people trying to get there," Vazquez said.

Board member Ivan Adams asked the board if they have talked enough with private business owners in town about possible partnerships for fitness equipment and programming.

"I think back to (board member Don) Thompson's comment at one of our meetings," Adams said. "He had the challenge to private sectors that were mainly involved to come to us with some kind of solution — what do they think they could do. I don't believe we've heard anything from them yet."

Board member Kristie Melendez said she was told that discussions about equipment and programming would likely need to wait until the design is in place.

"What would they know what to offer at this point?" Melendez said.

Arnold suggested the board recheck the financial assumptions for the project closer to June in case they have changed.

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