Every five years since the Madras Aquatic Center opened, it relies on a 5-year operation levy to keep programs and services in place.
Come this November, and it is on the ballot once again.
“It will keep the hours that we currently have open and potentially expand,” said Madras Aquatic Center and Recreation District Board Chair Jinnell Lewis about if the levy passes. “It will keep recreation programs going that we have currently and potentially allow us to add new programs as we continue to build on our financial stability and plan for the future.”
If the Levy fails, Lewis says it will have major impacts on recreational sports, hours of operation, as well as cutting more than 50% of its 40-person staff.
“You have to think about what that would mean for staffing and programming,” she said. “It would all drop by 60%. So, a lot of things would be cut.”
“We help with the high school swim team and we have the Madras swim team, which is a club team,” Lewis added. “All of these things would be reduced or potentially not have the hours in the pool that they have currently and recreation programs would be cut off as well.”
Taxes would remain the same if passed, renewing the $.40 per $1,000 tax levy. One local resident says it’s worth it.
“I am going to vote yes because I have grandchildren that use the facilities,” said Madras resident Ed Davis. “It’s for the whole community.”
“With how positive things have been compared to trying to get out of a couple years of COVID with all its closures, we feel like we have a good momentum and hope the community sees that and supports us for another 5-year operational levy,” said Lewis.
The last levy renewal was in 2017. It passed with 68% of the vote.