Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
August 21, 2012
When residents of the city of Madras in Central Oregon approved a bond levy in 2004 to construct a $9 million aquatic center, they also greenlit the Madras Aquatic Center district for governance and a tax of 25 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to pay for operations.
The facility was completed in 2008. Population of the district is almost 6,000.
MAC decided to branch out into recreational programs to augment pool revenue and meet a demand for activities for adults in 2011.
A $75,000 grant by the local Bean Foundation allowed for adult basketball, softball and indoor soccer leagues that are played at area public schools and one of Jefferson County's parks. It also coordinates four 10K races.
The current budget for the recreation program is about $100,000, which includes a director's salary, marketing and other expenses.
The Bean Foundation has committed to another $180,000 in funding over five years. Still, the district has proposed for the November ballot an additional levy of 40 cents per $1,000 to maintain current offerings and keep the pool open year-round.
Meanwhile, the Newberg-based Chehalem Park and Recreation District was formed by citizens eager to improve parks and create local programming in 1967. The city of Dundee annexed into the district in 1979. Those two communities sport a population of about 25,000.
CPRD has oversight of 22 parks, a public golf course, an aquatic and fitness center, a senior center and other facilities. League sports run over three seasons and include basketball, softball and tennis. It also runs an exhaustive list of adult and youth art and enrichment classes. The district runs some of the programs, others are operated by private organizations on district properties.
If you're thinking this isn't a fair comparison to communities here, you're probably right. CPRD has benefited from at least four land donations or reduced-cost purchases for facilities. It also operated off a string of serial levies -- one as high as $1.54 per $1,000 of assessed value -- until a permanent rate of 91 cents was established in 1997.
What It Costs
Madras Aquatic Center recreation district adult programs currently offered and examples of fees to participate:
* Coed and men's softball -- $600 per team.
* Adult men's basketball -- $200 per team.
* Indoor soccer -- $200 per team.
* 10K Race Series -- $50 for four races during the year.
* Open gym for basketball and volleyball: $2 drop-in fee.