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Voters Approve Finance Plan for New Urbana Aquatic Center

In just a couple of years, Urbana is expected to have a new outdoor aquatic center at Crystal Lake Park.

There's been talk about building a new outdoor pool in Urbana ever since Crystal Lake pool closed in 2008. Voters that year rejected a 25-cent property tax increase that would have helped fund a new outdoor aquatic center. But on Tuesday night, voters backed an 11-cent property tax increase supporting one.

The Urbana Park District's Executive Director Vicki Mayes credits the success of this year's referendum to outreach for the project.

"The money in the taxes that people will pay will be right here in this community, and it will benefit them directly," she said. "So, it's something that they wanted, and it's something that they really would be willing to pay for."

The property tax increase will provide enough funds for the park district to sell and pay back bonds to finance the project's construction and maintenance.

The new aquatic center priced at $7.725 million will include three pools - one that's shallow, one that's deeper, and one reserved for fitness. It will be built where Crystal Lake pool once operated. The design for the center begins this spring, and it is expected to open sometime in 2013.

Categories: Government, Politics