Longmont City Council Learns the Results of Pool and Ice Poll

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Photo by Alex Korolkoff on Unsplash

During a previous city council meeting, council directed city staff to conduct a poll to determine voter support and opposition for new recreation and aquatic center proposals.

The poll was conducted by Magellan Strategies which polled 300 Longmont residents by telephone between the dates of April 24-25, 2019.

The First Question:

This first potential project is an aquatic recreation and ice center that would have a 50meter competitive swimming pool, a competitive diving pool, a leisure pool and an ice rink for hockey and ice skating. The cost of this project is $45 million dollars and would be funded by a 0.18% sales tax increase. The sales tax would cost eighteen cents for every $100 dollars spent on taxable items.

Understanding this, would you vote yes and approve, or would you vote no and reject a 0.18% sales tax increase to fund the construction and operation of an aquatic recreation and ice center that would have a 50-meter competitive swimming pool, a competitive diving pool, a leisure pool and an ice rink for hockey and ice skating?

First Question Results:

  • Total Yes, Approve …………………………………………. 55%
  • Total No, Reject …………………………………………….. 39%
  • Definitely Yes, Approve …………………………………… 27%
  • Probably Yes, Approve ……………………………………. 28%
  • Definitely No, Reject ………………………………………. 27%
  • Probably No, Reject ……………………………………….. 12%
  • Undecided ……………………………………………………… 6%
  • Refused ………………………………………………………….. 0%

The Second Question:

The next potential project being considered would have two aquatic centers without an ice-skating rink. One aquatics center would have a 50-meter competitive swimming pool and a competitive diving pool. The second aquatic center would be for leisure aquatic activities and have a lap pool and a lazy river.

The total cost of this project would be $45 million dollars, or approximately $22.5 million dollars for each aquatic center. The project would be funded by a 0.18% sales tax increase. The sales tax would cost eighteen cents for every $100 dollars spent on taxable items.

Understanding this, would you vote yes and approve, or would you vote no and reject a 0.18% sales tax increase to fund the construction and operation of two aquatic centers without an ice rink?

Second Question Results:

  • Total Yes, Approve …………………………………………. 34%
  • Total No, Reject …………………………………………….. 59%
  • Definitely Yes, Approve …………………………………… 16%
  • Probably Yes, Approve ……………………………………. 18%
  • Definitely No, Reject ………………………………………. 38%
  • Probably No, Reject ……………………………………….. 21%
  • Undecided ……………………………………………………… 7%
  • Refused ………………………………………………………….. 0%

The Third Question:

The next project being considered would have two new recreation centers, both with swimming pools for leisure, fitness and competitive training but would not have a diving pool or an ice-skating rink. The total cost of the project cost would be $70 million dollars and would be funded by a 0.25% sales tax increase, which is 25 cents for every $100 dollars spent on taxable items.

Understanding this, would you vote yes and approve, or would you vote no and reject a 0.25% sales tax increase to fund the construction and operation of two new recreation centers, both with swimming pools for leisure, fitness and competitive training without a diving pool or an ice-skating rink?

Third Question Results:

  • Total Yes, Approve …………………………………………. 22%
  • Total No, Reject …………………………………………….. 72%
  • Definitely Yes, Approve …………………………………… 10%
  • Probably Yes, Approve ……………………………………. 12%
  • Definitely No, Reject ………………………………………. 47%
  • Probably No, Reject ……………………………………….. 25%
  • Undecided ……………………………………………………… 6%
  • Refused ………………………………………………………….. 0%

The Fourth Question:

A final variation of the three recreation projects being considered is the addition of a branch library. The cost to add a branch library to any of the projects I have mentioned to you is $1.5 million dollars and would be funded by a 0.015% sales tax increase, which is one and a half cents for every $100 dollars spent on taxable items.

It is important to understand that the 0.015% sales tax increase to fund the branch library would be in addition to the other recreation project sales tax increases. Understanding this, would you vote yes and approve, or would you vote no and reject a 0.015% sales tax increase to fund the addition of a branch library to any of the recreation projects I have described to you in this survey?

Fourth Question Results:

  • Total Yes, Approve …………………………………………. 54%
  • Total No, Reject …………………………………………….. 43%
  • Definitely Yes, Approve …………………………………… 35%
  • Probably Yes, Approve ……………………………………. 19%
  • Definitely No, Reject ………………………………………. 28%
  • Probably No, Reject ……………………………………….. 15%
  • Undecided ……………………………………………………… 3%
  • Refused ………………………………………………………….. 0%

Magellan Strategies concluded that, “of the three projects tested in this survey, the aquatic recreation and ice center proposal is the only one that may be approved by voters in a November 2019 election. However, we strongly caution that 55% voter support for a sales tax increase ballot measure is slightly below the preferred 58% to 60% threshold. The bottom line is a well-funded and managed voter education campaign would be required to achieve voter approval.”

Since Tuesday, May 7 was a city council study session, no decisions were made on the topic.

City Manager, Harold Dominguez reported that he and other members of city staff have been in communication with the St. Vrain Valley School District. Discussions have included how much the school district would utilize an aquatic and ice facility if one existed.

The SVVSD school board will be presented with an IGA (intergovernmental agreement) that would outline the financial commitment from SVVSD for the use of the aquatic facilities.

Longmont City Council is waiting to see what the SVVSD school board decides to approve the IGA. Following that decision, the topic will be discussed by council and city staff will be given direction on the next steps concerning the aquatic and ice center topic. This is expected to happen in the next few weeks.


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