Archive for Thursday, June 26, 2003

Pool bond election slated for Aug. 26

June 26, 2003

A new pool proposal hopes to make a splash with voters -- again.

A second bond referendum to build a new swimming pool is scheduled for Aug. 26, when a proposed new swimming pool will again go before Eudora residents. A majority of whom rejected a $2.5 million proposal in April.

This time around, Eudorans will be asked to cast their vote on a scaled-down, $2.25 million project. Moreover, voters will be asked to weigh in on financing the pool through general obligation bonds and a city-wide half-cent sales tax in the same question. Eudora City Council members thought placing the options in separate question on the April ballot confused voters.

Council member Don Durkin said a pool task force was seeking people to join the group and to make donations. The task force was not a "vote yes" committee, he said, but rather a group trying to inform the public on the need for a pool and the city's current proposal.

Estimated figures show a sales tax could bring in about $174,000 annually. Figuring in the city's overall assessed valuation of more than $28 million, 3.312 mills of property tax will be needed to finance what the sales tax won't cover.

Moreover, City Administrator Mike Yanez reminded the Council that both the interest rates on the debt and the bids had been figured conservatively, and considering the current economic climate could come in lower than expected.

For that reason, expanding the pool lanes to 25 meters from 25 yards could be an alternate bid if other costs come in lower than anticipated. Council members explained that in its current incarnation, the pool plan called for 25 foot lanes in order to cut back on costs. It was thought that the original $2.6 million price tag intimidated voters.

Norbert and Margaret Grosdidier told the Council if the city was going to build a new pool, it should plan for 25-meter lanes to begin with, because that dimension -- plus a tank depth of five feet -- would ensure the facility would be adequate for swimming meets that took place in area communities like Paola and Louisburg.

"I think it would be better to have a swimming pool than an amusement park," said Grosdidier, who spoke out against a new pool in February, when the Council decided to put the issue out in April.

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