The Ottumwa Courier

November 12, 2012

Voters approve bond for Fairfield gym, pool

CHELSEA DAVIS
Courier Staff Writer

FAIRFIELD — The majority of Fairfield voters said they want a new gymnasium and outdoor pool when they went to the polls last week.

According to the unofficial results from the Jefferson County Auditor’s office, 68 percent of voters said “Yes” to the public measure.

Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy said the two projects have been initiated as a public-private partnership.

“The public has taken its first step in approving the $3 million bond,” Malloy said. “Our current estimates put both projects at about $10 million.”

The next phase is private fundraising to support the remaining $7 million balance.

“That has already begun but now I think the community is confident that the public portion, with the $3 million bond in place, the fundraising will go more earnestly and more robustly with the confidence of that public vote,” Malloy said.

This isn’t the first time the city of Fairfield has supported public-private partnerships to improve the quality of life of the community.

“We’ve passed a public bond for our new library, for the indoor swimming pool,” Malloy said. “Though this wasn’t a general obligation bond, we used sales tax revenue to support the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center. Private fundraising was attached to both of those projects, too.”

The proposed pool in O.B. Nelson Park would replace the 45-year-old outdoor pool that had to close this year due to safety reasons, Malloy said previously. The gymnasium would be built near the Roosevelt Recreation Center, 1000 W. Burlington Ave.

“What we’ve promised the community is that we will raise the funds for both projects,” Malloy said. “So we really want to be sure we have the money in place, secured for both before construction on either one begins.”

Malloy is optimistic that construction can begin next year, but it will all depend on how quickly the fundraising phase goes.

The bond issue will be repaid through property tax, which will increase approximately $39 per year on a home valued at $100,000 (39 cents per $1,000 valuation over 20 years).