presents its 10-year
Express Staff Writer
Blaine County Recreation District is seeking public comment on its
recently unveiled 10-year Recreation Facility Plan, which includes
expansion of the aquatic center in Hailey and possible construction of a
public pool in Ketchum.
only way to get this is through community support," said Executive
Director Mary Austin Crofts. "Weíve been really successful in
doing this stuff in the past, so I feel good that we can continue to
provide these facilities for people."
next two years, the district plans to:
over maintenance of the gym at the current Wood River High School
after the new school opens in September 2003, as well as create a teen
center there. The gym will be used primarily for after-school activities
for elementary-school children. Maintenance costs are expected to run
$30,000 per year. Details of the teen center will be finalized with the
help of the Blaine County Teen Advisory Council.
with Wood River Backcountry Trails, a local volunteer group, to
facilitate construction of a south-county trail system.
the Blaine County Aquatic Center to include a pool suitable for toddlers
and a childrenís play area. The project is estimated to cost
$500,000. About $200,000 would come from Rec District funds and the
remainder from an override levy and possible federal grant.
next three to 10 years, the district plans to:
a Hailey Community Center at the site of the aquatic center. The
outdoor pool would be covered and an expanded teen center built. Cost
would be $4.6 million, possibly funded by an override levy, grants,
private donations and the city of Hailey.
a Ketchum Community Center if the proposed Janss Center fails. The
center would include an indoor pool, teen center and upgraded skate
park. Cost is yet to be determined. "Itís something people have
wanted and I think children need in order to learn how to swim,"
three members of the public spoke up at a public presentation of the
plans last Wednesday at the Wood River Inn in Hailey.
Road resident John Adams criticized the district for not including
motorized trails in its plan.
recreation is motorized and all I see is Ďnon-motorized,í"
Adams said. "Iím real upset that they come in with their bikes
and close us off. As long as Iím alive Iíll fight it."
board member Keith Perry said representatives from Wood River
Backcountry Trails had made assurances that a trail system would be
said many areas north of Ketchum have been closed to motorized use. He
said people had been snowmobiling in those areas for years before
backcountry skiers found them.
would love to see a sign with a cross-country skier on it with a line
through it," he said.
question was also raised about recreational programs for senior
citizens. Crofts replied that improvements to the Blaine County Aquatic
Center include a warmer pool suitable for aquarobics classes, and the
district intends to continue guided walks near the Blaine County Senior
resident Karen Reinheimer raised concerns about increased summer
recreational development on Dollar Mountain, which she said is an
important wildlife corridor. She suggested that an environmental study
be done before more trails are built there.
interview, Crofts said the 10-year plan was based primarily on a
recreation needs survey done last fall. She said about 10 percent of the
approximately 10,000 surveys mailed to county residents were returned.
She acknowledged that the district may not know what the other 90
percent think until it proposes funding sources.
Idaho law, which restricts regular budget increases to 3 percent per
year, the district can propose a property tax override to increase the
current $12 per $100,000 valuation to a maximum of $60 for a two-year
period. The measure must be approved by a simple majority. Crofts said
she doubts the district would request the maximum.
district receives about one-third of its $1.9 million budget from
property taxes and about two-thirds from donations, grants and user
public presentation of the 10-year plan was scheduled for Tuesday night
in Ketchum. A third will be held July 18 at 7 p.m. in the Carey City