Watauga County Commission Public Hearing on Financing for Recreation Center

 

Friends – Betsy and I attended the subject hearing last Tuesday night 8/21/2018. A large crowd attended this meeting most of them apparently well organized mainly Boone proponents of this facility that will be located in Boone. The hearing was interesting and informative. There were a large number of speakers urging approval of this facility. A few speakers expressed concerns primarily about the economics of building and operating this facility. I spoke as a citizen and not as an officer of the BRCA. I did not question the need for or merit of the recreation center. I did question the economics reported by the Watauga Democrat that reported a capital expenditure of $ 35 million, operational expenses of $ 1,500,000/yr. and no amount reported for maintenance and depreciation. I specifically said we hoped that there will be no further property tax increases required to support this facility. While the county tax rate is relatively low it was set to equalize tax increases that would have resulted from the county’s relatively high property values. I was assured both publicly and privately by both Democrat and Republican commissioners that this facility would not require additional property tax increases either for capital or operational expenditures. After the hearing the commission voted unanimously to proceed with the recreation center.

Best regards,

 

George Wilcox

 

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