MADRAS, OR -- The Madras Aquatic Center is closer to a new recreation district which could generate around $1.6 million from taxes.
Following a public hearing Friday, Jefferson County commissioners gave the go ahead to send the questions to the ballot. One more hearing is planned for February 29th.
The MAC wants to dissolve its current district that includes three separate taxes, and establish a new district with one combined rate.
“The idea is by taking this action, we're providing sustainable funding into the future without having to increase taxes for folks that are already paying toward the district. The dissolution has to pass if it ends up on the May ballot and then also the reformation of a new district. So, there's two measures that are associated with this reformation” MAC Executive Director Courtney Snead tells KBND News district officials are working on ballot language and other requirements in preparation for May’s election.
“Ultimately, the voters have to decide if they want to continue to support the district into the future at the level that they have for the last 15 years. And so that's why it has to be done through an election process,” Snead says, adding the aquatic center sees visitors from the entire region, “Our district spans beyond the city of Madras. It goes out to Metolius, up to Warm Springs, out to Ashwood. And then we have a number of folks in Deschutes County and Crook County that use our facility. We've got, I think one of the best pools, and no offense to my fellow Central Oregon Park and Rec districts. But I think we've got a really great facility for folks to come and recreate at.”
The facility needs significant maintenance and repairs, however. MAC officials hope the new but unchanged tax rate will help.