Rec levy measure is at 62 percent approval

The February Orcas Recreation District levy appears to have passed with a supermajority as of today, Feb. 9, with 2,270 ballots cast and only 20 left to count by official tally.

Almost 62 percent of voters cast their ballots, giving the proposal 62 percent approval. There were 1,407 votes cast in favor and 862 against the measure.

“This is truly great news for our kids and, in my opinion, for the community at large,” said commissioner #4, Jim Bredouw, but cautioned that because the proposal did not pass until 2011, the funds won’t be available until May and November of 2012 after the payment of 2012 property taxes.

“To spend any money this year for anything is going to take some careful planning and much discussion about the advisability of taking out loans, timing of expenses and much more,” he said. “This applies not only to programs but also to staffing.”

Bredouw also offered thoughts on how the levy funds will be used, saying that most programs will still require donations, volunteers and fees.

“Our budget has always been only a draft that will evolve and react to public input, so we can't say for certain precisely how it will be ultimately constructed,” he said.

“Our intention is and has always been to create: a conduit that will include insurance, coordination, organization and publicity for dozens of programs that are primarily self-sustaining but will still require user participation fees and a lot of volunteers (to make all these programs fully staffed and/or free would have required a much more ambitious levy proposal!); funding for a handful of what we consider essential programs that rarely pay for themselves, which currently includes the suggestions of some pool activities/lessons, teen night and after school programs; and a minimal maintenance program (initial and ongoing) for much of Buck Park, assuming that the OISD Board will allow it (we've not been able to even legally negotiate with them until funded), that we will propose to them shortly, which will include playing fields first, then in time, possibly the tennis courts and skateboard park as well.”

More information on the Rec District is available on its Facebook site.

Contact information on Orcas Rec District Commissioners is available on the district's Web site.

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