Archive for Thursday, April 3, 2003

New pool doesn’t hold water

Eudorans vote down bond; approve city-wide sales tax

April 3, 2003

The future of summer swimming in Eudora is uncertain since voters failed a $2.5 million bond issue for a new pool in Tuesday's local election.

"Right now our plans are to open the existing pool and operate it until it breaks; we'll just have to take it a year at a time," said City Administrator Mike Yanez.

Once the filters failed, he said the city would have to decide whether to spend the money to repair them or lock up the pool. Although the pool will be open this summer, the 2004 swimming season is uncertain.

The city sought authority to build a new pool because city leaders came to the consensus that it was more cost effective to build an updated pool than make the needed costly repairs at the current pool.

City leaders advanced a proposition to finance a new pool with general obligation bonds while also giving voters the option to choose a city-wide sales tax, which would go toward paying off the bonds. Voters approved the sales tax, but because it was to pay off the pool bonds, it is automatically voided.

Yanez said the doom-and-gloom of the economy and budget situations made this a bad time to propose anything new.

"People just got their property appraised and their school bill tax increase," he said.

Moreover, state fiscal situation was uncertain, and the federal government faced mounting bills from the cost of war.

"There's just a lot of things working against us right now," he said.

Yanez said the Eudora City Council had yet to discuss when and what type of new pool it would propose in the future.

"I think the proposition we proposed served young people and adults alike," he said. "It's a very good plan, which does accommodate growth in Eudora over the next 10 to 20 years."

The new pool was planned to have served Eudora with a population up to 12,000 people. Construction would have been expected to begin in late summer, and it was estimated the pool would have opened for Memorial Day Weekend 2004.

The next time a pool proposal goes before voters, Yanez said he'd like to see a voter advocacy group involved to get the issue passed.

"I just look at them as wins and losses," he said. "Eventually people are going to get tired of bringing their kids to Lawrence."

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