During the municipal elections in April, a controversial ballot issue on a 1% sales tax increase in Fruita to help fund a new community center ended in a tie. In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, the Fruita City Council decided to give residents one more crack at it.
Although the tie vote effectively killed the measure earlier this year, city officials say since there was no clear majority either way, they wanted to give residents one more chance to let their voices be heard.
It was standing room only at Tuesday night's meeting, as dozens of proponents and opponents of the measure addressed the council. Public discussion on the matter endured for more than 2 hours.
Community center advocacy group "The Penny Posse," presented the council with more than 1,000 cards signed by Fruita residents and non-residents who said they would use the facility if it was built.
City officials predict the center would cost $12.8 million dollars to construct. They say it would include an indoor pool, fitness center, outdoor pool, and a senior center among other things. Mesa County Public Libraries says if the measure passes, it would move its Fruita Branch to the Center, but would cover construction costs from their own funds.
Officials say should the residents of Fruita pass the sales tax increase, they would apply for grants and look for other means to help pay off community center costs.