Guthrie Center residents will be asked at the November 5th regular election to vote yes or no on whether to enter into a bond agreement for a facility project.
If passed by sixty percent of the voting population, the City would enter into a loan agreement to issue bonds in an amount not exceeding $800,000 to demolish the over 50-year-old aquatic center bathhouse, and construct a new public restroom and bathhouse. Mitchell Park, located just west of the municipal pool, currently has no functioning public restrooms, according to Guthrie Center Parks & Recreation Board President Chris Bunde. For years, park goers and those at the pool have had to use portable toilets available seasonally, and Bunde says this project came out of a City Park Master Plan completed by MSA Professional Services and adopted by the City Council in 2017. A pool house design committee formed this year composed of Council members, City employees, Parks Board members, current and past pool managers, and others to create a final proposed design for the new structure. This includes exterior restrooms accessible to park goers year round.
Bunde shares what impact this improvement could have on the City, “I really think that having strong park facilities and community facilities really encourages folks to come to our town, and it gives people more options when they’re looking at places to move to and to live. I know that I’m not a native resident of Guthrie Center and so when I was looking for a place to live and settle down when I got out of college, things like how many outdoor areas are there, how many places are there that we can use as a family, you know aquatic centers and things like that are part of the equation when people are considering where to live.”
If the ballot measure passes, Bunde anticipates demolition would start on the current facility following the next pool season in August of 2020.