Lennox City Council met Monday for their regular monthly meeting. One item on the agenda for the evening was swimming pool discussion. After last week’s bond failure in the special election, in which voters opposed the funding option for a $2.8 million pool by 70%, Councilmen discussed options moving forward.
Finance Officer Jerry Jones said he was disappointed in the 33% voter turnout. Councilmen Brock Rops said, “We have to figure out if it’s the apathy of the community or if people forgot.”
A citizen in attendance was allowed to voice her opinion about the pool throughout the discussion and said she heard people complain about the extravagance of the pool and said people wanted to see different numbers. She also said people needed more information mailed to them.
Jones explained that there had been four different bidders on the pool. Jones said that to replace the current Lennox pool, the numbers were still at $2.5 million.
Rops said, regarding the extravagant comment, “They are uninformed. When you compare the pool we are trying to put in to other pools around, this is like vanilla… They think they can do better than that; at the end of the day when it comes to price it’s not going to wiggle much… We are going to give this one more shot, and if doesn’t fly we can put a ten year plan together like every body else has done to build a pool in 2027.”
The council was in agreement that a survey needed to be done to get feedback from the citizens.
There was talk about a smaller pool, such as one like the community of Tea has for $1.8 million. Several councilmen also voiced their concern over considering something too small. The council talked about the investment of a pool, citing it as an amenity that increases people’s property values.
Mayor Orville Wiebers said, “We are doing the people a disservice if we put something up like Tea has got.”
Councilman Chad Wulf said, “We can’t quit, we have to keep looking at it. But we need to have feedback.”
Rops added, “But we can all agree the community is going to have to chip in to pay for this thing, right?”
City administrator Amanda Anglin said she would like to do a survey to find out how best to send people information so that they could be more effective in finding out what people want.
Water Superintendent Jeremy Gulbrandson said, “People got to want to educate themselves. The attendance at those two meetings, I was at them both as a taxpayer because I wanted to hear those questions, the attendance at those two meetings was pathetic.”
Councilman William Welch added, “How do we get them involved?”
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