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Voters in St. Charles, IL, Reject Recreation Center Proposal

The St. Charles Park District sought to borrow $28 million to pay for 81,800-square-foot rec center.

Voters in St. Charles, IL, have resoundingly rejected a plan to borrow $28 million to build an 81,800-square-foot recreation center and make other improvements.

The Daily Herald reports that with all 37 precincts reporting, unofficial results from yesterday's election showed voters overwhelmingly said no to the 20-year tax increase needed to pay for the project. The tally was 4,203 to 1,355. Owners of a $200,000 house would have paid an additional $60 per year in taxes. People who wanted to use the rec center would have been required to pay an additional $35 for a single membership or $59 for two people, park district officials had estimated.

Officials had proposed building the recreation facility on the west side of St. Charles, a suburb of Chicago. The project would have included a fitness center, multi-court gymnasium, indoor track, preschool and multipurpose space. The proposal also called for building two synthetic turf fields.

Park board President Bob Thomson told the Daily Herald that the fitness center element of the plan seemed to draw some opposition from local, private gym operators, who saw the center as a possible rival.

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