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Ballot Measure Could Make Big Splash

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MEDFORD, Ore. ¬†— With Hawthorne Pool closed and Jackson Pool in need of an expansion and overhaul, Medford residents will have to make a decision at the polls this November.

Ballot Measure 15-115 would allow for a $14.5 million bond that would pay for two brand-new swimming facilities. Swim Medford chairman Rich Hansen thinks with a growing population, Medford’s pools need more than just a tune-up.

“The cost figures just don’t pencil out. The plumbing, the heating the systems are going to fail one of these days. It’s not a matter of if it’s going to fail, it’s a matter of when,” said Hansen.

If approved, Medford residents would see their property taxes increase about $31 a year. This measure does not include the more expensive water park proposed in 2011. Medford resident Danna Munn thinks the new pools would have a positive impact on the community.

“If there’s going to be some kind of a tax or something, so be it, let’s do something for our town” said Munn.

Hansen thinks larger facilities at both the Jackson and Hawthorne Park locations would make sure nobody is turned away.

“They’re just too small. Even though this pool is in apparently pretty nice shape, we turn kids away almost every hot summer day because there’s just not enough room here,” ¬†said Hansen.

If approved, the new Jackson Pool would tentatively be set to open on Memorial Day 2014 and the indoor Hawthorne pool on Labor Day 2014.

“Hawthorne Pool is closed, and this pool is going to close before long, and we need to replace them and build new pools. Now is the time to move forward,” said Hansen.