The plans for the new pool in Sedgwick are being finalized after a slim majority of citizens gave the go-ahead for the project in a mail-in vote.

Jaci Reimer, Sedgwick city administrator, said the project has been a citizen-driven one. She said the city council saw enough interest by the community to put it to a vote.

The final numbers for the pool ballot measure showed 532 ballots cast in the election, with 270 voting in favor of a new pool and 261 voting against. One ballot was ruled void.

A total of 922 ballots had been mailed, so voter turnout was at 58.89 percent. Ballots had to be returned by noon on July 21.

Now that the project has been approved, Reimer said the contractor is finalizing the design, with the possibility that ground will be broken before winter. She said by late September, the council should be presented with a schedule for construction.

The plans call for an L-shaped pool of about 3,800 square feet. The pool will have zero-depth entry, which will move into a four-foot-depth area, with a small 10-foot depth area in the L. The pool will have five regulation swimming lanes, a one-meter diving board, a basketball setup, a mid-size slide and a mushroom shade or other shade device in the zero-depth area that will have running water and provide shade.

Also in the plans are a burnished block facility to house the bathhouse, equipment room and concession area. Built-in shelters with sitting areas also are planned.

Reimer said the plans tie in the existing spray park, which was built a couple of years ago, to become one water facility. The pool will be in the southeast corner of the existing city park at the corner of Fourth and Franklin streets.

Cost of the project will be about $800,000, with the project being funded entirely by a property tax increase. Reimer said that provision was written into the ballot measure. The impact will be an increase of between 8 and 12 mills, depending on whether the council approves a 10- or 15-year bond. For a $150,000 house, a 15-year bond issue will add about $138 in property taxes each year, and a 10-year bond issue will add about $190 a year.

Reimer said the council will decide which option to choose, with it being finalized next year. She said by then, the city may have a better idea of how the economy is doing, and she said citizen input would be included in the decision. She said the city previously sent out a survey asking whether citizens would prefer a 10-year or 15-year period, and she said the votes were split virtually down the middle.

Reimer said many in the city wondered if the measure would pass, given the current economic state. She said Sedgwick has not been immune to layoffs, as many citizens work in Wichita or Newton and some in Hesston.

“Everyone wondered if the timing was right because of the economy,” she said.

She said it is important for towns to have good amenities, although the goal is to not create hardships for citizens in order to create those amenities. She said hopefully that will be the case with this pool project.

But all in all, Reimer said it was a good thing for the community.

“We’re pretty excited about getting it going here,” she said.