Island Rec's levy, which funds school sports, community recreation programs and maintenance of several parks, passed 68.76 percent to 31.24 percent . There were 1,847 votes in favor and 839 opposed to the increased levy. The measure needed 60 percent approval to pass.
The funding from the new 38.5 cents per thousand dollars of assessed property value six-year property tax levy will be used for:
18.5 cents for Island Rec programs, parks, trails and services.
12 cents to continue to fund San Juan Island School District's athletic program.
8 cents for maintenance and operation of the new Community Fields located at the end of Carter Avenue.
The levy would bring in approximately $970,000 per year. $470,000 for programs, $300,000 for athletic programs, and $200,000 for maintenance and operation of fields.
In 2013 the levy brought in approximately $600,000. In 2014, $300,000 due to correcting a mistake by the Assessor (explained below). The rate is 14 cents in 2015.
There are three reasons the rate is significantly higher.
The first portion of the levy - 18.5 cents - covers the multitude of programs offered by the organization. During the current levy, Island Rec has provided 2,700 hours of recreational programming with nearly 14,000 participants.
Some expansion of the programming is planned:
Expansion of the After School Program
Construction of the playground at the Community Fields
Increased maintenance and capital projects at Lafarge Open Space (gravel pit), Eddie and Friends Dog Park, Family Park and Skate park (the last two are located at the fairgrounds).
Replacing the Island Rec van
Tax revenue covers 60-63 percent of the programming costs. Participation fees and grants provide the rest. A support group -FANS - helps by providing scholarships, some capital costs and volunteer help.