By Cimarron Chacon
After years of hard work by local arts and recreation advocates 2014 was finally the year the Recreation, Arts and Parks Tax made it on the ballot in Washington County. The measure proposed a 1/10th of 1 percent tax to go to projects that support Recreation, Arts and Parks. An active group worked all year to get the message out that recreation and arts can benefit tourism and enhance the quality of life in Washington County.
Tensions were high on election night. No one was sure if this message was received by the conservative voters. But to everyone’s excitement, the measure passed by just 623 votes. The tax is estimated to raise $2.2 million for enhancements, which will be divided between the various communities in the county, and can be applied for by non-profits.
The City of St. George is not wasting any time getting new plan’s underway for the new funds. They immediately partnered with Southern Utah Bicycle Alliance (SUBA) and Dixie Mountain Bike Trails Association (DMBTA) to research the possibility of a new urban bike park.
In addition, the City has formed a 12-person Active Transportation Committee to make recommendations on biking enhancements needed throughout the city. Projects already underworks is the installation of new bike racks around the Central City area and additional bike lane striping.
With the BLM Travel Management Plan only months away from passage, which proposal 100’s of miles of new trails and trail facilities, you can expect that many great enhancements around Washington County for cycling and mountain bike recreation.