Richard D. L. Fulton
(2/13) An ordinance that would have installed Carroll Valley Borough a member of a proposed multi-municipality recreation district has failed to make it through the borough Council.
None of the borough Council members were willing to even make a motion to bring membership in the proposed southwestern Adams County joint recreational district to the table for a vote at the councilís February 11 meeting.
The failure of the proposed ordinance came on the heels of comments from residents opposed to the plan, and even a call by resident Richard Matthews to have the issue put on the ballot in November to let the citizens decide.
The proposed recreation district was the product of a study conducted by representatives of Hamiltonban Township, Carroll Valley and Fairfield boroughs, and the Fairfield Area School District which examined the recreational assets of the various governing bodies involved. Liberty Township has also indicated interest in participating in the creation of the proposed recreation district.
The purpose of the joint-study was to evaluate how the participating municipalities and school district could jointly share those assets in a regional manner, as well as the costs of maintaining such a district. The study listed a number of "needs" that the district, once established, could fulfill for area residents.
However, Matthews told the council, before the board was to consider voting on the measure, that the study had provided "no data to justify the alleged needs. There is no justification for the need."
Matthews said the creation of the multi-jurisdictional recreation district seemed to him to be little more than "a governmental desire to insert itself on the lives" of the citizens.
Participating entities would each provide funding based on a percentage of their population, without regard to the percentage of assets each was making available.
Carroll Valley Borough, for example, would contribute 48 percent of the funding for the district based on its population of 3,876, although the "lionís share" of assets to be incorporated in the plan lie within Carroll Valley Borough.
Councilwoman Janis Ashman said, following the failed ordinance vote, "I think this would be very costly to us and not serve us well," noting that while the borough would be picking up 48 percent of the costs, they "wouldnít get 48 percent of the vote" on how to spend it.