Archive for Thursday, December 8, 2005

Pool initiative to search for constituency

December 8, 2005

The Eudora City Council agreed last week to start the ball rolling on a new municipal swimming pool and community center.

The council authorized BG Engineering to draw up plans for both the pool and community center. They would be, in the words of City Administrator Cheryl Beatty, "basic" facilities that could be expanded as the city grew. The community center would include a gym and meeting room/kitchen space.

The price tag for the facility was pegged at $2.5 million. Early discussion would tie that debt to a bond issue that would be paid off with a special sales tax.

The council took the initiative on ordering the plans but made it clear nothing had been decided. If the community is excited by the plans, that enthusiasm and involvement will provide the momentum to move the project forward.

It would seem the council is taking the right approach, in light of two bond issues in the recent past that failed -- as voter turnout numbers proved -- to excite the community. To be successful, the new facilities will have to excite a constituency.

The council is limited in what it can do to sell any proposal. State law limits the city's role to present facts. The city or the council as a group can't actively advocate passage of a referendum or spend city money to do so.

What is needed for success are people who care enough to go door to door, speak and pitch the proposal at gatherings and get out the vote on election day.

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