Maintaining and building trails, recreation facilities and parks takes cash, and the city is planning to ask for continued public funding in the spring.
The Durango City Council voiced its unofficial support Tuesday for the specific ballot question on reauthorizing the 1999 half-cent sales tax, which will be posed voters in April.
The authorization of the tax, which was originally passed in 1999 to fund the Durango Community Recreation Center and the Animas River Trail, has been broaden to help more recreation services.
If approved again, the tax would fund trails, parks, recreation facilities, parks and recreation facilities, the urban forest and pedestrian and bicycle improvements. If passed, it would extend the tax through December 2039.
“There is something for everybody; that’s why I like it as a resident,” Mayor Sweetie Marbury said.
The urban forest encompasses the 90,000 city trees in the parks and along roads that the city maintains, Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Metz said.
The Multimodal Advisory Board would make suggestions on pedestrian and bicycle improvements while the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board would make suggestions about how the other projects are prioritized.
About a third of the sales tax money is needed to help fund the maintenance of the existing parks and recreation facilities, Councilor Keith Brant said.
Without the sales tax revenue, costs would have to be paid for from the general fund or some other source of city revenue.
“One of the reasons we need to renew this is so we can take care of these wonderful assets we have built with this money,” Councilor Dick White said.
The councilors will consider an official resolution to approve the ballot question in early February.