Archive for Thursday, January 30, 2003

Pool bond referendum possible on April ballot

January 30, 2003

There may still be time to get a bond referendum for a new pool on the April 1 city council/school board election.

City Administrator Greg Johnson told the Council earlier this month it had until Feb. 28 to deliver the language of the bond question to the Johnson County Election Office. The Council was working under the assumption the deadline was the same as the Jan. 21 candidate-filing deadline.

Despite the additional five weeks, Johnson advised the Council to take the time it needed to do the necessary homework. A special referendum for the swimming pool bond issue would be affordable, he said.

The drive to get a bond referendum before voters was complicated by the De Soto USD 232 Board of Education's reconfirmation last month of an offer to build a pool at De Soto High School. Three members of the City Council said last month they wouldn't put a bond question before voters until they knew the location of the proposed pool, its construction cost and all maintenance expenses.

Construction costs are known at the high school. The City Council must select the alignment of an access road at the Community Center before the cost of building a pool is known there.

In contrast, the Council has estimates of the annual costs associated with running and maintaining a pool at the Community Center. Those figures haven't been developed for the high school site.

Mayor Dave Anderson told the Council he met with Superintendent Marilyn Layman and Deputy Superintendent Sharon Zoellner, who indicated those figures will be available before the Council's Feb. 6 meeting. The two women indicated the district wouldn't ask the city to share in one possible maintenance expense -- the upkeep of the parking lot. It would be asked to share in the maintenance and utility costs for use of the locker rooms.

Anderson apologized to the Council for pushing members on the pool issue at a December meeting.

"I simply want to get a pool bond issue out," he said. "I don't care where it goes. I think there are synergies with the downtown location and what we offer in the Community Center. On the other hand, the school site would offer considerable savings."

The Council agreed to start considering the alignment of the access road alignments at the Community Center and possible pool features so that a bond referendum could be put before voters at the earliest possible date.

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