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Rec bond defeated

Sunset Empire Park and Rec District bond fails at polls
By R.J. Marx

The Daily Astorian

Published on November 7, 2018 2:02PM

Rendering of the proposed aquatic center expansion.

Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District

Rendering of the proposed aquatic center expansion.

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Sunset Park and Recreation District voters gave thumbs down to a $20 million bond to expand recreation facilities. About two-thirds of the electorate opposed the measure to fund the expansion of the aquatic facility and provide indoor recreation space at the Sunset Pool, opened in 1977.

The ballot measure called for construction of a recreation center featuring an indoor gym space, indoor walking track, group fitness, weight room and cardiovascular rooms, with added parking, site improvements and additional changing areas.

The funds would have expanded preschool and youth program space, group fitness space, indoor walking track and gymnasium space to improve overall community health. The estimated tax rate for the bonds was estimated at 70 cents per $1,000 property value, or $140 annually for a home with an assessed value of $200,000.

During the course of the campaign, city councilors and members of the public asked for a focus on improvements on the current facility rather than “unnecessary expansion.” Residents resisted a new financial obligation so shortly after the passage of a $99.7 million bond for a new Seaside School District campus in the Southeast Hills, designed to move endangered schools out of the tsunami zone. Others felt the cost was excessive.

On Tuesday night, the district’s executive director Skyler Archibald said the organization has strived to meet the needs of residents and guests by providing high-quality recreation programs and facilities.

“While the results of Measure 4-196 are not what we were hoping for, we’ll continue to work to meet those needs,” Archibald said. “Throughout our process, we have repeatedly heard from our residents of the need for more indoor recreation space to increase community health and wellness. The district will be proactive in seeking out opportunities to provide that space both for the interim and for the perpetual future.”


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