On a recent Talk Back program, KGVO hosted members of a group called the Montana Taxpayers Action Group, who are working to inform residents about their increasingly high tax burden.

If documentation from the group is correct, Missoula Parks and Recreation may be asking the city for over $17 million for a new community center at McCormick Park in the next few years.

Group member Jane Van Fossen said the monies to study the issue are already in proposed budgets.

"There is a line item for this year, fiscal year '19 for $50,000," Van Fossen began. "In 2020 it'll grow by $40,000, and then it goes to $665,000 and in fiscal year 2022, it will be $17 million."

According to city officials, the project is still only in the planning stages.

Director of Missoula Parks and Recreation, Donna Gauckler, said her agency has been planning for a new community center for McCormick Park since 2000.

“The future community center has actually been on the books for about 18 years, and the CIP is the Capital Improvement Program document that goes out five years, so each year I continue to carry it forward. It was first identified in 2000 as part of the community wide millennial process and it included hundreds of citizens identifying their highest priorities to impact Missoula for the next century.”

Should the time come in the future for the community center to be built, Gauckler said there are several avenues of financing possible, should the community and the city council approve the project.

“It would be wonderful to have as many foundations, grants and private donations as possible, that would be the ideal,” she said. “I haven’t reopened the CIP document, but I think it’s listed as TBD, or to be determined. There is very little that the Parks and Recreation Department does that isn’t a grassroots community effort.”


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