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A rec center at what cost to the people of Pagosa Springs? $44.9 million over a period of 20 to 25 years, when borrowing only $18 million, at an annual cost of roughly 1.8 million a year on projected revenue from a 1 percent sales tax increase.
Yes it is only one penny. On top of 6.9 others that will add up to 7.9 percent sales tax per dollar spent, and that retail businesses have to collect.
The collection is not the problem the sustainability is, it is not guaranteed that the needed revenues to make the bond payments will be met with the 1 percent sales tax. The economy is just barely climbing out of a downturn, who is to say it won’t go bad again? I hope it doesn’t, but if it does the town is going to have to cover the loss, and it will have to come out of the town’s three million dollar general fund, which could bring a short fall in other parts of the town government. We will have 20 to 25 years of payments to be accountable for.
I personally think a rec center is not a bad concept, but not at this cost or in the form that is being proposed. The $18 million will cover the cost of the building, but in the ballot language there is no mention of the cost of the land it is supposed to be built on.
The town has deferred projects that they have yet to complete such as the river walk and town to lakes trail. These projects should be completed first before the people vote to have an 18 million dollar project that could take 20 to 25 years to pay back at a total cost of 44.9 million dollars. Just because bonds are at a low interest rate doesn’t mean that we should run out and borrow money.
Pagosa Springs citizens need to think hard about how they are going to vote on this issue. As for myself I cannot vote as I reside outside the town limits, but I am deeply concerned about the consequence of this bond issue if it passes. Remember, just because we qualify to borrow the money does not mean we absolutely have the resources to pay it back.