Only days after a new outdoor pool at Spellerberg Park was rejected by Sioux Falls voters, city officials moved forward with a plan for a nearly $20 million indoor aquatic center. The city council will vote next week whether to approve the project without taking out any city bonds.
"Complete this indoor aquatic facility project without the use of any further debt. In so doing, the city would save, we've estimated somewhere between 4 and 4 1/2 million dollars primarily in interest costs," Sioux Falls Director of Finance Tracy Turbak said.
This plan seems to be a no-brainer for those who fought against the outdoor pool.
"We've done our work. 70-percent of the voters have come back and said that an indoor aquatics facility at Spellerberg Park is what they want, and they expressly said that by saying this is what we don't want," Margaret Sumption said.
However, one new group of voters doesn't believe that is entirely true.
"The voters we've talked to have told us that wasn't their intent, that they did not mean for their vote to trigger the construction of an indoor pool at Spellerberg Park," Public Pool Partners spokesman John Matthius said.
John Matthius and the new Public Pool Partners group are standing firm for the idea that an indoor pool is needed, but not at Spellerberg. He hopes a petition movement can drive that point home. Matthius plans on addressing the city council next week on behalf of the group.
"A lot of unanswered questions are answered concerning facts and figures that are in the Councilman Hunzicker study and the possibility of other suitable locations for an indoor aquatic center," Matthius said.
Sumption plans to speak as well, but she still thinks the council will vote to fund the project.
"I don't believe we should have controversy next week. I think the will of the people has come forward in the vote. I think the council should move forward," Sumption said.
More specifically, the council is deciding next week whether to set aside nearly $11.2 million for the indoor facility. That goes along with the remainder of the total already in the city's budget.
Supporters have been pushing for an indoor pool for decades in Sioux Falls. If this latest plan goes through, a new facility could be operating by 2016.