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Community voice: A look at Evergreen's Rec District 6C, 6D

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The Peter Lindquist Family

After years of surveys and public meetings, and consideration of service demands, your EPRD elected Board of Directors made the difficult choice to support placing a request for a mill levy override (6C) and bond funding (6D) on the November ballot to: fund repair and replacement of aging infrastructure (Wulf pool and locker rooms, North Lake Trail); construct new facilities (multi-use gym, indoor track, additional swim lanes and expanded fitness space at Buchanan); address substantial ADA improvements to allow all of our citizens to enjoy the facilities managed by EPRD; and finally, provide funding for land acquisition and trail improvements.
We are well aware of the extent of funding that has been requested. We looked at a multitude of ways to pare the request down, but each alternative resulted in significant deficiencies.
We could have repaired Wulf pool, but there were no guarantees how long the repair would last. In the end, it did not make sense to spend $2 million only to face a complete rebuild in just a few years and likely result in an extended closure of the pool.
The same is true with the North Lake Trail. We may be successful in receiving a sizable grant that would go a long way toward construction costs but would not fund the entire project.
Expansion of the Buchanan facility to include a gym with walking/jogging track, more swim lanes, and larger cardio and weight facilities was considered a necessity given the heavy use of these facilities at Wulf. If you’ve tried to park or drop off participants between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on any given day, you’ll appreciate the challenges of access and limited parking.
The district is also looking to acquire the final piece of property in Buchanan Park. Unit now, this acquisition was not considered feasible due to lack of funds.
In the judgment of the board, pulling all of these together and asking the community once for their support made the most sense. Bonding now allows us to fund significant improvements to your district using lower cost dollars given the historically low interest rates.
It also allows us to: 1. Stage the aquatics improvements so there will not be a pool closure at Wulf; 2. Increase gymnasium capacity and improve the utility of Buchanan Rec Center for all patrons; and 3. Ensure we have adequate funding to address the needs of the North Lake Trail.
We realize there is a cost — approximately $33 per $100,000 of home value per year. While we can talk about this equating to three or four cups of Starbucks coffee a month, we’d rather talk about living in Evergreen and raising our families here. There is no doubt that prior residents, when asked to fund a bond for Wulf Rec Center or later bonds for the Lake House and Buchanan Rec Center, also asked, “What am I going to get out of this?” or “I don’t want any new taxes.”
Had those attitudes prevailed, we would not be enjoying recreation facilities in Evergreen. There would be no public pool, no gym or gymnastics area, no Stagecoach Park or turf fields at Marshdale and no Lake House and all the improvements at the lake that we take for granted.
Thanks to the foresight and generosity of prior voters, we have a recreation district we can all be proud of and which adds significant value to our properties.
As we approach the final week of voting in the 2018 election, we hope you will exercise our right to vote.
We urge you to vote yes on 6C and 6D: Let’s build on the efforts of previous voters and continue to improve our community.

The Peter Lindquist family are long-time Evergreen residents and support People for Park & Rec. Lindquist serves on the EPRD board.