The Board of Directors is currently working with the firms MIG and Barker, Rinker, Seacat (BRS) on a master plan for Casey Jones Park and the design for a community recreation center to be located at the intersection of Highway 86 and County Road 17. The initial visioning and planning was led by a committee of residents and stakeholders who began meeting in June 2020 to assess and discuss community needs, resident desires, program priorities, and facility designs.
The Casey Jones Master Plan report proposes not only a community recreation center for the park, but also includes permanent grandstands and a refurbished rodeo / event arena, a new artificial turf ballfield, a new dog park, a fieldhouse, and a site for the envisioned Homestead Education Center being proposed by the Elbert County Agricultural Alliance. Once the master plan report is complete, the District will host a number of open houses and invite residents to come review the plans and provide comment. The Board intends to ask voters within the District to fund parts of the improvements through a ballot initiative in May of 2022.
Check back here occasionally for news and updates and to stay in the loop on the Casey Jones Master Plan and Recreation Center Project!
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Be sure to learn about the project and be prepared to vote!
· Who is deciding what to include in the recreation center design?
The District solicited the public in early 2021 to be a part of a recreation center design committee and lead the effort. This citizen-based committee has been responsible for identifying and prioritizing the desired spaces and amenities and making recommendations to the District Board of Directors, who make the final decisions. The recreation center design committee has also surveyed the public and received over 950 responses which have helped inform and guide their recommendations.
· What amenities are going to be included in the recreation center?
The recreation center design committee has prioritized the pool area as the main focus of the design. The pool area will include a zero-depth entry leisure pool with play features, a social / rec pool, a lazy river, two to three 75’ lap lanes, a water slide, and an adult hot tub. The committee has also prioritized a gymnasium, program space / meeting rooms(s), fitness space, indoor track, and a childcare room. The initial design will also include needed support spaces including locker / restrooms, lobby, mechanical spaces, storage, staff offices, and potentially unfinished space for future improvement. While the list of desired amenities was quite a bit longer, and included a senior lounge, a teen activity room, and more program space, the project budget forced the committee to limit what can be included in the design.
· Where can I see the Casey Jones Master Plan and designs for the recreation center being proposed?
The District has contracted with a landscape design / architecture firm team that is currently completing the master plan and recreation center design. We anticipate being able to share the design schematics and details with the public this Winter and look forward to hearing your comments. We will be promoting and hosting informational events for residents to attend throughout the Winter and early Spring of 2022.
· Where will the recreation center be located?
In March of 2020, the District purchased 91-acres surrounding the existing Casey Jones Park, securing land for the pursuit and development of major park and recreation improvements for the community. The site proposed for the recreation center is located at the corner of Highway 86 and County Road 17.
· How much will all of these proposed improvements cost?
Though not fully complete, the Casey Jones Master Plan will likely include more than $45M worth of proposed improvements that may span a time period of a couple decades, or more.
· How will the District pay for the proposed park improvements and the construction of the recreation center?
At this time, the District Board of Directors intends to ask residents to begin funding implementation of the master plan through a ballot initiative in May of 2022. The initiative details and specific ballot language are being discussed and will be determined by the Board and the District's legal counsel.
· What is the District mill levy rate currently, and what kind of increase can I expect the Board to ask me to pay to fund these proposed improvements to the park system?
The current mill levy that the District assesses annually on non-exempt properties is 2.466. The Board is proposing it be increased to 4.932.
· How will that affect my annual property taxes?
Though you should consult your accountant to fully understand how an increase in the District’s mill levy rate will personally impact you, see example below for a property with an actual value of $550,000 in 2021.
Actual 2021 Property Value $550,000
Assessed 2021 Value $ 39,325 (7.15%)
2021 Total Mill Levy $ 97
Proposed Increase $ 97
Proposed Total New Mill Levy $ 194
· If residents vote to approve the mill levy increase in May of 2022, when will the recreation center be built?
Provided that the ballot measure passes in May of 2022, the District will then put the construction out for public bid and solicit proposals. Tax revenues from the passed ballot measure will begin being collected in January 2023, allowing construction to begin at that time. Construction is projected to require up to 12 months, meaning the facility would open in late 2023 or early 2024.
· How do I know if I am a District resident?
To learn if you are a District resident, check your current tax statement and see if “Elizabeth Park and Rec Gene” is included in your list of taxing entities. If you need any assistance determining residency, call the park office at 303.646.3599. Please note that some properties within the geographical boundaries of the District are exempt from inclusion, and therefore are not considered residents. These include properties 40-acres or larger and zoned as Agricultural. If customers can’t find it, it doesn’t exist. Clearly list and describe the services you offer. Also, be sure to showcase a premium service.