In 2017, De Pere City Council decided to close Legion pool and build a large and very expensive aquatic center on the west side. When I found out, I was shocked!! I had no idea, and we go to Legion Pool on the city’s east side several times a week during the summer! So I started asking around. Did all my friends know this and never told me? Actually, they didn’t. Regardless of why it happened, the fact is that very few people actually knew about the plans to close Legion. Once they found out, people started to get very upset for so many reasons–reasons that were different for us all. We started telling the city that this was not a good idea. These discussions continued until August 2018. At that point, the city listened, and the decision to close Legion and VFW and move forward with a single aquatic center was reversed. On August 21, 2018 the Common Council unanimously voted in favor of all agenda items related to the Save De Pere Pools’ cause:
1) Adopting the Recommendation from Board of Park Commissioners to Revisit the Decision Related to VFW & Legion Pools.
2) Rescinding Prior Council Action Pertaining to Replacing VFW and Legion Pools.
3) Authorizing and Directing Referendum Question for Increase in Tax Levy.
Now the future of De Pere aquatics is in our hands! Here’s why you should vote YES on 11/6:
- Youth water safety, health and wellbeing of local children, affordable, wholesome and safe recreation for all to enjoy.
- Physical fitness, recreation and social opportunities for adults.
- Community connectedness, neighborhood vibrancy and property values.
- Tradition, preserving these De Pere cornerstones and leaving a legacy for future generations.
- A yes vote will guarantee aquatic facilities at both Legion and VFW locations!
- A yes vote guarantees there will be improvements to both pools/facilities. The pools will need to be rebuilt due to their age and failing systems. Both facilities will be brought up-to-date as far as ADA compliance, safety regulations, codes for restrooms, etc.
- In its current state, VFW isn’t able to open next summer. A yes vote guarantees that VFW will someday reopen.
- The design of the actual swimming facilities is still up in the air. If the referendum passes, the city will rely heavily on the opinions of the citizens in order make prudent and informed decisions on facility designs.
- The increase is a maximum of $46 per $100,000 of property value.
- The median home value in De Pere is $210,200. That means the average taxpayer in De Pere would pay a maximum of $95 per year (ONLY $7.92/MONTH!).
- This is not a year-over-year increase. In other words, it could never increase more than the initial $46 per $100,000 of property value (maximum).
The ability to tax on behalf of the pools doesn’t go away. Please see this document (click here) as it explains all of the finer points.
With a NO vote, the future of De Pere pools is grim. We don’t know exactly what will happen with a no vote because a clear answer has not been provided. Here are the facts: the city quite literally has no money for aquatic updates. They had no money for a single aquatic center (which is off the table at this point) and they have no money for two smaller pools. So, if the referendum fails, the future is uncertain and doesn’t look good.