Express Staff Writer
Concerns about growtha central issue connected to most every
aspect of life in the Wood River Valleyplayed a part in defeat of the Community
Recreation Bond and will influence plans to pursue the measure again in the future.
"A lot of people said the bond proposal was too much and too big
and that they were concerned about growth and change," said Blaine County Recreation
director Mary Austin Crofts.
Crofts made her observation during a meeting last Wednesday called by
the Blaine County Recreation District to review Nov. 2 election results and consider
future recreation planning.
In the election, the bond proposal fell a couple hundred votes short of
the two-thirds majority required for passage. Had it been approved, the $11.85 million
bond would have funded a recreation center with a focus on youth in Hailey, a pool in
Ketchum, mid-valley sports fields at Ohio Gulch and park improvements in the south part of
Community Recreation Bond Committee members Chris Potters and Jed Gray
agreed with Crofts assessment.
Gray said everyone seemed to support the youth center in Hailey and
people were generally in favor of the sports fields, but concerned about the Ketchum pool
issue. He said people wanted a more traditional pool rather than a tourist attraction.
"The comment was," Gray said, This isnt
Recreation district president Keith Perry said the people he talked to
felt the recreation district was trying to do too much.
The rec districts original plan was to ask voters to fund the
recreation center in Hailey. However, in an attempt to make the measure a county-wide
issue and more economically feasible overall, the district opted to include the other
projects in the proposal.
Some believe the decision to add the Ketchum pool and the mid-valley
sports fields on the bond issue backfired, however, and may have led to the perception
that the overall proposal was too extensive.
Hailey resident Tom Hanson commented that in adding the other
facilities to the proposal, "the recreation district lost focus on the primary
emphasis of the whole project, to provide a recreation center for youth."
Blaine County School superintendent Jim Lewis said at Wednesdays
meeting the education district will put a bond proposal before the school board in early
spring for an election probably to be held next fall.
Lewis said collaboration between the two public entitiesthe
school and rec districtsin deciding how to best spend taxpayers dollars is in the
best interest of the entire community.