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Fund the center

Dear Editor:

I am sure that many people living in Pagosa Springs feel that Pagosa is one of the best places in the country to live. It offers a high quality of life, substantial outdoor recreational opportunities, micro breweries, an active Center for the Arts, great restaurants and shops, fine local artists and craftsmen, and nice friendly people. Publications and news stories abound about the “Best places to live in the U.S.,” “Most Livable Cities,” “Best Places to Retire,” “Best Secret Ski Towns of North America.” Criteria in common to all these “Best Lists” are amenities, recreational opportunities, community infrastructure and quality of life.

The people living within the town limits need to consider enhancing the infrastructure of the community in order to provide an even higher quality of life for their children and themselves.

Coming before the voters of Town of Pagosa Springs this spring is an initiative which would fund the construction and operation of an indoor recreation center. This center would house a six-lane lap pool, a leisure pool with waterslides and playground equipment, a daycare room, a classroom/party room, a rock-climbing wall, a fitness studio, a gymnasium, an indoor track and a weight room. The recreation center would be funded by a 1% sales tax increase bringing the sales tax to the same level as Durango.

Cities and towns serve their communities best when they anticipate the needs of their current population, anticipate the changing characteristics of the community and adapt in a timely manner.

Voting to fund a recreation center for the town will recognize the needs of our young children, students, young adults, working population and retired people.

Imagine being able to have local swim teams from the local schools, practicing and competing here in town. Imagine having a place to exercise regularly without regard to weather, imagine being part of a regular exercise group. Imagine having a place to send guests and tourists when they want to take a day off from skiing, fishing, hiking or camping. Imagine having a place where you could stay in shape during the shoulder seasons.

Communities do not show up in the lists of “Best Places to Live” by accident. These communities plan to meet the needs of their populations by providing infrastructure that leads to a high quality of life for their residents. Residents of Pagosa Springs will have the opportunity this spring to help our Town meet the existing and future needs of our community by voting in favor of the sales tax increase in order to fund a community recreation center. I urge my neighbors to invest in the future and the next generation of Pagosans. They will thank us for our efforts.

Gary and Linda Williams

This story was posted on January 23, 2014.