Advertising Rates
Contact us
Celebration Forms
Submit Event
Submit News
Site Search

Advanced Search
Search Sponsored

home : news : news Sunday, November 19, 2017

8/9/2017 Email this articlePrint this article 
Library's tax bond total could be higher
Referendum might also ask voters to finance a new fitness center

By Tom Pantera

While it's still at the very early point of discussion - sort of the kicking-an-idea-around stage - a vote on financing for an expanded DeWitt library might also be a vote on a new fitness center.

In a meeting last week with the library board, which featured the first real discussion of how the library project would be financed, City Administrator Steve Lindner said any referendum probably would seek $3.5 million toward the estimated $5.7 million library project. The rest would be paid for by private donations and grants.

The amount going to the library would mean a tax hike of 60 cents per $1,000 of valuation for five years or so, but the levy would drop to current levels as bonds on other projects were paid off.

But Lindner also raised the possibility that the referendum actually would ask voters to approve a bond issue of up to $6 million, with the rest going to another city project.

In a later interview, Lindner said the city is in very preliminary talks with the school district about partnering on a new fitness center and athletic facility.

A fitness center project is, at this point, little more than an idea, he stressed, as is the possibility of putting two projects on one bond issue.

"Potentially, if we did a joint project with the school, we might have a larger project at that time," he said. "It's just a matter of [whether] that project gets legs."

At research stage

Any fitness center project hasn't even reached the conceptual stage, Lindner said. "We're just doing some research on how it could look and operate."

The current fitness center is an older building that wasn't built for the heavy use it now gets, he said.

"It is very, very crowded in our busy seasons," he said, "and crowded otherwise."

DeWitt Schools Superintendent Dan Peterson said for the district, a new fitness center "would open up a lot of opportunities physical-education wise."

If it included swimming, racquetball courts and even a new indoor running track, it would provide the ability to do activities requiring larger spaces, he said.

It also would enable such activities to carry on even in cases of bad weather, he said.

The district, as well as the city, would also be able to take advantage of economies of scale. Currently, the city's fitness center and the school have some of the same equipment, Peterson said, and a joint project would eliminate that duplication.

And cementing the school district's relationship with the community also is a good thing, he said.

"Doing things together, the community benefits," he said, "and we can do it for less."

However large the bond issue will be when it's presented to voters, that won't happen until next year, officials said.

Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Passcode: This form will not send your comment unless you copy exactly the passcode seen below into the text field. This is an anti-spam device to help reduce the automated email spam coming through this form.

Please copy the passcode exactly
- it is case sensitive.
Hill Chiropractic


Like us on facebook


The Observer • Founded in 1864
“Pledged but to truth, liberty, and law;
no favors win us and no fears shall awe.”

512 Seventh St., PO Box 49, DeWitt, IA 52742 • 563-659-3121
Copyright 2017, DeWitt Observer Publishing Co.
 Software © 1998-2017 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved