Endorsement: Yes to Glen Ellyn pool
Glen Ellyn Park District residents have good reason to be suspicious of plans to add onto the Ackerman Sports and Fitness Center. In 2006, they approved borrowing $7.4 million for the center, only to see the cost rise to $11.5 million. Now, the district seeks to borrow $13.5 million to add an indoor aquatics center to the Ackerman facility. This time, though, it offers some assurances for voters. The loan would replace existing debt the district is paying off; property owners wouldn't see a tax increase from the borrowing but also wouldn't receive an anticipated decrease. The owner of a $400,000 house would continue to pay about $146 annually toward debt reduction. Park officials, many of whom are new since Ackerman was built, say they're avoiding the mistakes of their predecessors. Other top needs are being met through the district's budget. A feasibility study shows the 25-yard, 16-lane pool with a smaller warm-water pool can support itself with swim lessons, fitness programs and partnerships with the YMCA, the Glenbard schools and more. And, most importantly, officials have pledged publicly they will scale back the plan rather than overspend. We recognize the community's interest in the facility and appreciate the district's commitment to responsible spending. We recommend voting yes.