Manila residents vote yes for swimming pool

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Manila voters said yes to a one cent sales tax to construct a swimming pool/water park facility and plans will move forward.

Linda Donovan, Manila City Council member, is pleased the swimming pool project will become a reality thanks to the voters in Manila who passed a one cent sales tax. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

The vote was 263 for and 70 against.

"The council and I are thrilled to have the community behind the project," Manila Mayor Wayne Wagner said. "We want to build something for the community to be proud of. The council will meet tonight and we will pick a sight."

Mayor Wagner said he hopes the new pool will serve the community for the next 50 years as the old one did.

"I am proud of the fact we are talking about Manila's future and the next 50 years," he said. "We will be working with the architects and engineers to finalize the drawings to make any minor changes needed. We hope to have the bids ready by January. We should be ready to start construction in April or May"

Wagner expressed his appreciation to the council and the citizens of Manila for the work they did getting the facts out to the public.

"The three things the council stressed on the pool included an inside therapeutic pool, slides for the young people, and an area large enough for Red Cross swimming lessons to be held," Wagner said. "We are looking to locate on 40 acres with a master plan for future expansions including walking and bicycle trails, new softball/baseball fields, soccer fields, basketball/tennis courts, a nice public facility for picnics and gatherings."

The pool/water park facility will be constructed with the one cent sales tax. Once the bonds are paid off, the tax will sunset.

Manila has a one-fourth cent sales tax set aside for park and recreation and this can be used to help with maintenance and operation of the pool for future years.

"This pool will also offer seasonal jobs for area young people," Wagner said. "It will encourage young people to follow through with life guard training which will be beneficial to them. We are excited for the community and we invite our neighbors across Buffalo Island to join us at the pool."

If everything goes as scheduled, the pool will be open on Memorial Day 2013.

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