Survey struggles to find support for rec center vote, funding

Nick Balatsos (
• 41 percent of the people said they supported building a new recreation center in the county using a sixth-penny sales tax to pay for construction.

When it comes to the possibility of building a new recreation center, the people of Converse County have spoken. 

Well — some of them anyway. 

Out of 1,000-plus people who were polled through various unscientific methods, including an online survey, local officials found the following: 

• 41 percent of the people said they supported building a new recreation center in the county using a sixth-penny sales tax to pay for construction;

• 30 percent said they would never support it; and 

• 29 percent said they didn’t support it, but thought the project should be considered at a later date.

The second question on the survey asked whether the project should be put on the November ballot for voters to decide. 

The results for that question were more evenly divided, with roughly 52 percent of people saying that they didn’t want to see it on the ballot and roughly 48 percent saying that they would. 

All told, 1,151 people responded to the survey. 

Of that group, the vast majority — 916 — said they were from Douglas. Some 199 Glenrock residents answered the survey. And some 36 people living elsewhere in the county responded.

Members of the Converse County Joint Recreation Committee will use the results to decide whether and how to move forward with the project. 

The current proposal would create a 72,000-square-foot recreation facility in Douglas and remodel and expand the rec center in Glenrock and refurbish the South Rec Facility outside of Glenrock.

The new building would be located in Douglas on the west side of John Lambert Subdivision (the old Douglas Motorsports Park property).

A new joint powers board made up of nine members from the city and county would also be created to oversee the facilities.

The Douglas project would cost a hair under $29.5 million, with additional infrastructure costs.

The Glenrock project would cost $21.6 million.

All told, with fees and other expenses, both projects would cost county residents about $70.4 million.

To pay for the projects, officials are proposing to reintroduce the sixth-cent tax — the same tax that paid for the new Douglas Library, Glenrock Library and the Eastern Wyoming College campus. 

Members have also suggested paying for maintenance and operating costs with some combination of user and membership fees, contributions from the city and county and by using part of the Douglas schools recreational mill levy.

Whether any of the projects will move forward is uncertain at this point. 

After receiving the survey results, Douglas City Council members recently voted to continue discussions.

But county commissioners and Douglas school board members still have to vote on the matter.

And an official resolution would still have to officially come before the Douglas, Glenrock and Rolling Hills town councils and Converse County Commissioner before the question could be placed on the ballot in November. 

The commissioners are scheduled to talk about the project during their next meeting on June 7-8.


Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

The Glenrock Independent is located in the Bronco Building

Office hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday - 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

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