After Measure J: Truckee Rec & Park board to revisit issue after New Year
TRUCKEE, Calif. — In light of the public voting down Measure J, the proposed bond that would have financed construction of a performing arts and aquatic center in Truckee, the big question facing the Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District is: What’s next?That was a major topic of discussion at the district’s Thursday evening meeting, when the board of directors decided to table the matter, considering a new director, Erin Casey, will join the board next month.“I think we should actually do it (have a discussion) in two months, put it off until January,” said Kevin Murphy, board vice chairman. “I think we need to spend some time educating (Casey) on some of the financial issues. It’s going to give us some time to go through at least one board meeting, so she can get her feet wet and at least one financial meeting.”Board Chairman Peter Werbel said he was fine pushing the matter off.“December is an incredibly busy month for everybody,” he said. “My main concerns are just letting things calm down, let the people rethink.”By January, exiting board member John Monson will no longer be a part of discussion of what should be done, so he gave his input at the meeting.“I had no problem going forth with Measure J and asking the town should we build two (facilities), knowing full well that if and when that did not come to fruition, that we had the funds to build one project,” he said. “I think we were all in agreement as a board, we wanted to see one project come to fruition. … In my opinion, that’s the pool.”Monson said the reasons he thinks the aquatic center should be constructed rather than the performing arts center is because it will increase awareness for the new recreation center, provide shower and locker room facilities the recreation center lacks, be a better facility for swimming lesson than the current pool, is “shovel ready” and part of the cost to operate it is already being paid by parcel owners by way of a $8 flat rate fee, which supports the current operation of the Truckee-Donner Community Swimming Pool.“I hope you don’t drop performing arts all together,” said Raine Howe, executive director for Arts for the Schools, during public comment. “I do believe it fits under recreation … This community is really reliant on the district to fill that gap.”Courtney Simson, with Kids on Broadway, offered a well-received suggestion of renovating the existing Community Art Center’s auditorium and stage, a facility located at 10046 Church St.“Like Courtney was saying, I don’t think it necessarily has to be all or nothing that Measure J didn’t pass,” Howe said. “… There could be some pretty modest upgrades … done to the inside of that space where people come in and go like, ‘Oh, OK.’ It’s not going to be the professional theater that has the fly system (a theatrical rigging system of ropes and pulleys) and all those things, but it might be enough for now.”Monson was in favor of the idea.“I think this is a good thing for the rec center to move forward (with) in light of Measure J, saying we still promote and support performing arts in this community,” he said. “I think this board can do a lot of good to show that without having to break ground on a $7.5 million facility.”Lynne Larson, chair of the group that opposed Measure J, Truckee Citizens for Responsible Government, agreed.“This brings to the community what they are asking for in a performing arts center,” she said. “… I would encourage you to go forward with this. I really would. I think it brings all kinds of possibilities.”
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