South Curry County voters should approve the South Coast Parks and Recreation District.

The proponents’ goal is building a full-service indoor recreation and aquatics center at Bud Cross Park. The site at Ransom Avenue and Third Street is ideal because the city owns it. The proposed structure, however, would encompass more than the pool.

Architects’ illustrations show the 34,000- to 37,000-square-foot center would use the pool, but the building enclosing it also would have a gymnasium, fitness center, activity room and a child care center. The project is estimated at $18 million.

Organizers have spent years seeking grants and other funding. Even if foundations supplied a third, the community still would need $12 million. For foundations to consider funding the recreation center, the community needs to make a demonstrative effort. Approving this ballot measure would accomplish that.

In the three months the pool is open, it has 40-50 lap swimmers daily, 30-40 in aerobics and 400 in swim lessons and the average attendance at open swims daily is 30-50. The year-round recreation center would provide opportunities for more people.

The district would encompass the same area as the Chetco Community Public Library District and the Brookings-Harbor Port District, which include most of Curry County south of Pistol River.

The special district gives the people control. A yes vote would establish the district and authorize a “maximum permanent tax rate of up to 33 cents per $1,000 of assessed value beginning in 2022-2023.” That means the owner of a $300,000 property in July 2022 could be taxed up to $99 in November of that year, and up to 33 cents per $1,000 each year thereafter. It’s a permanent tax rate, so it never could change.

Dean Brickey

Brookings

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