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Park and rec district to seek levy support


The local park district through which North Dam Park was rescued in a joint community effort last year, will seek tax support at the ballot come November.

Commissioners of the Coulee Area Park and Recreation District voted Monday to seek a levy to help support the district, which recently learned it will get a matching grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation this year.

CAPRD is a junior taxing district, but has never collected taxes. Local municipalities have propped up its efforts to save North Dam Park and Event Center by feeding it taxes collected on room and campground stays, money earmarked by law for the support of tourism.

Several free concerts are planned for the hillside amphitheater at the park this summer, and the chamber of commerce is planning an advertising campaign to announce them outside the area.

The cities’ support plan was hatched with the idea that a grant would become available within three years through the USBR, reducing the burden on the cities’ hotel/motel tax funds.

“It would be nice if we could always have that money from the cities,” commented Commissioner Mike Bjorklund, “but it would be better if we could become a little more self sufficient.”

That self sufficiency will be sought in November through the levy, seeking 15 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation on property. It would cost the owner of a $120,000 home $18 a year for six years, Commission Chairman Phil Hansen noted.

A passing vote would also allow the district more flexibility to seek other grants and funding partnerships, Hansen said.

The district has established relationships with Grant County and Coulee Medical Center. Grant money available through those two entities funded a study currently underway to determine the feasibility of a community “wellness” center that would likely feature an indoor aquatic center, or at least an indoor pool.

The district almost passed a 10-cent levy in 2010. The measure failed with about 56 percent of the vote in favor; it needed 60 percent.

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Reader Comments

Carol writes:

One would think after more than 15 years have passed since the 1st. meeting was held,simply called,(The pool group), we would have made more headway by now,I wonder if the initial reason for the group is even remembered? It was a group of people who wanted for all of the surrounding towns to help Coulee Dam either repair or replace the Coulee Dam pool and support it financially, as Coulee Dam could no longer go it alone. One bureau engineer,researched repairing the old pool, replacing the outdated propane heater and some paint and repair to bathrooms. Total cost $50.000. Some decided that it would be more efficient to create a Park and Rec. district and build an Aquatic park,more visible to tourists and where it didn't get shady later in the day, The Dist. was established over a period of several years. Was it more efficient? We are still without a pool after all these years.It now sounds like any pool there will be won't be the fun in the sun pool of old that so many people enjoyed for so many years. As I see it,anything we get will be connected to the hospital and sounds more like a theraputic pool. I'm sure this will draw many tourists-right? Could we just start over now? Who wants a public pool, with swim lessons and just for fun swimming SOON?