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Board opts to present voters with $6.8 million bond for family aquatics center

GRANDVIEW - This spring Grandview voters will have a decision to make on the future of the community's pool facility. They will be asked to approve a 25-year, $6.8 million bond that would pay for the construction of a family aquatics center.

Tuesday night, members of the Grandview Parks and Recreation Service Area Board came together to make the final decision as to which family aquatics center option will be placed on the May 17 ballot.

Board member and City Councilwoman Pam Horner noted that she felt going for the 25-year, $6.8 million bond was the option the board should consider. She explained that even with the increased price tag, good bond rates are making it possible for the board to look at offering more amenities.

The project the board voted to pursue includes a zero-depth recreational pool, a 50-meter eight-lane lap pool and a 200-person capacity multi-purpose room.

"This aquatics facility is an investment," said board member and Yakima County Commissioner Jesse Palacios. He noted that the facility is an investment in Grandview's future, as well as a quality of life issue. "It makes sense," he added.

Board member and Grandview City Councilman Robert Morales noted that the proposed facility has something for everyone.

The board also took time last night to look at estimated operating costs and revenues. According to the estimates, the facility will cost approximately $125,000 to operate every year. However it is estimated that yearly revenues will come in at around $185,000. Board Chair Dave Copeland added that the estimates are conservative, and don't include revenue from aquatics programs such as swim lessons.

Grandview Parks and Recreation Director Mike Carpenter noted the current municipal pool traditionally brings in $15,000 in revenue during the summer season. He added that he would like to think that the estimated revenues for the proposed aquatics center will be more than the amount stated.

The family aquatics center proposal will be on the May 17 ballot. Last night, board members voted to hold a traditional election for the bond proposal, which will include both poll and mail-in voting. Carpenter explained that the board did have the option of going with an all mail-in election. He noted that the Yakima County Auditor's Office had told him that a traditional election would cost 8 to 10 percent more than a mail-in election.

"I think we really need to keep with the traditional method," Horner said. "I think we need to make this election as voter friendly as we can."

In order for the ballot measure to pass at least 1,202 votes need to be cast and of those 60 percent need to be for the aquatics center.

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