Posted 10 months ago
By John Axtell
This is the final full day of circulating petitions for supporters of a half-cent sales tax to fund the conversion of the Chadron city swimming pool into an indoor recreation center.
Backers need just the signatures of just over 400 registered voters who live in the Chadron city limits to put the sales tax on the November ballot, and organizers plan to turn in the petitions tomorrow.
Spokesman Mary Lecher is confident they have the needed signatures, but wants to have as many as possible when they’re turned in to underscore what she says is the widespread support she’s found for the $5.9-million dollar pool project.
That’s also the reason backers have been also been circulating a petition of support that those who live outside the city limits can sign. That petition has no formal power, but Lecher says those who’ve been signing it appreciate the opportunity to make their voices heard,
In addition to the petitions being circulated by individuals, copies are also available for signing at two locations in downtown Chadron: the Bean Broker coffee house and Cleo’s Daily Grind.
The half-cent sales tax is proposed to raise $2-million dollars…expected to take about 12 years…with $1.5-million coming from grants from outside foundations and $500,000 to come from a capital campaign and individual gifts.
The proposed project would enclose the pool with a tension-membrane structure, replace the existing pool infrastructure, giving the current pool a zero-entry point, and add a therapy pool, community room, and walking track.
Chadron State College, the Pine Ridge Job Corps Center, Chadron Public Schools, and Chadron Community Hospital have made verbal commitments or memorandums of understanding pledging to cover at least half the annual operating costs through use agreements.