In what leaders say will be a “monumental decision,” the Jefferson City Council is scheduled to make a final vote on June 12 on whether or not to build a $12.2 million aquatics facility.
The vote comes after years of debate and discussion, including additional debate during its meeting on May 22. That discussion included some councilmembers’ concerns about parking to serve the facility.
Councilmember Mark Mobley suggested that if the city approves moving forward with the project, bonds let to pay for it should include enough funding to build additional parking.
The project’s capital cost would be paid for over a 20-year period from proceeds generate by the town’s SPLOST funds. Voters approved SPLOST 7 last November with nearly 32% of Jefferson’s SPLOST dollars going toward recreation.
Also at the meeting, councilmember Dawn Maddox made a motion for the project to be put on a November ballot referendum, but her motion died for the lack of a second.
On May 15, the council held a lengthy special called meeting to discuss the project.
The proposed aquatics center — technically a natatorium — would be an indoor facility with two pools. It would be designed both for competition swimming, including club and school teams, and also for general public use.
As proposed, the facility would be located at the corner of Old Pendergrass Rd. and Old Swimming Pool Rd. near the city’s existing recreation center.
The increasing demand related to competition swimming initially drove the issue to the table, but supporters note that it would also be used by the general public for recreation and exercise needs for many senior citizens.
City officials have also outlined anticipated income for the facility, the largest of which would come from club swimmers who would collectively pay around $300,000 per year to use the facility.
If direct revenues from the pool’s programs weren’t enough to cover all the ongoing operating expenses, the difference would be made up from the city’s general fund, officials noted.
In other action at the May 22 meeting, the council:
• approved a rezoning and conditional use for an event venue at 331 Jett Roberts Rd.
• approved a rezoning for 5 acres on Martin Luther King Ave. from R-2 to AG-R.
• tabled action until June on a controversial rezoning for a subdivision on Elder Dr.
• approved sewer line easements on Border St.
• approved accepting .84 acres near McDonalds on Trade St.
• approved a modification and swap to the SDS agreement with the county for sewerage service areas.
• approved naming Tammy Smith to the county li
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