TRUCKEE, Calif. — As a citizen, I care deeply about performing arts and access to cultural programs in our rural community. As I get older I care more and more about the ability to age in place in Truckee. As a single mother who has raised two kids on her own, I care about the economic health of my community. For these reasons I encourage everyone to vote Yes on Measure J. Here is why:• For the cost of five cups of coffee per year, Truckee can have a performing arts center and an indoor aquatics center in Truckee that will engage thousands of local residents young and old. • These two facilities have the capacity to deliver more than $2 million in new economic impacts for Truckee, which are needed now more than ever.• Truckee-Donner Recreation andamp; Park District will match $7 million in funds to build both of these facilities, making every bond dollar worth two.Our existing indoor pool facility is 40 years old, in need of significant repairs and no longer meets the needs of a growing community. Thousands of local residents will be able to use an indoor swimming pool year round for everything from learning how to swim, to competitive swimming, hosting swim meets, enjoying the physical benefits of exercising in water and the therapeutic benefits of water rehabilitation due to injuries or the natural aging process. As we age in Truckee, an indoor swimming facility will become an affordable and important resource for year-round exercise for a growing elderly population.We do not currently have a performing arts center. Many local performing arts organizations have disappeared due to having nowhere to teach or perform their craft. Having access to performing art programs is important to our cultural integrity and will attract visitors to our region for year round programming. Downtown businesses will benefit financially from a performing arts center. Everyone will benefit from professional cultural programming which is severely limited in Truckee due to having no venue with the capacity to present professional artists.Why now? While it may seem counter-intuitive to vote Yes on a bond measure during economically challenged times, the opposite is actually true. Now is the time to build these facilities, as the costs of building are at their lowest, interest rates are at their lowest and our community is in desperate need of the millions of dollars the projects will generate in new economic impact.Unlike previous bond measures that passed at the height of the housing boom, the estimated $6.91 per $100K parcel tax for Measure J will most likely decrease over the years as the housing market is at a record low and will eventually recover.If we do not build these facilities now, it will be a lost opportunity for everyone who lives in and visits Truckee. We can’t afford not to support this measure. If you would like to get involved or learn more I encourage you to visit www.TruckeeFirst.org. Support the cultural, physical and financial health of Truckee by voting Yes on Measure J.Raine Howe is a Truckee resident and executive director of Arts For the Schools.
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