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City ponders community center's future

SNOQUALMIE - After months of discussion about how large a community center should be, where it should it go and how much residents should pay for it, there is one thing all the members of the Snoqualmie City Council agree on: the community still wants a community center.

At a roundtable discussion prior to the Snoqualmie City Council's Dec. 9 meeting, council members dialogued about where to go after a $9-million bond they had put on the ballot in November to build a community center failed with nearly 60 percent of voters rejecting it.

The size of the bond's defeat gave the council pause throughout the past month, and members talked about what step to take next.

Councilman Matt Larson pointed out that any speculation about the unpopularity of the community center in the downtown area can be converted to fact.

He presented results from King County Elections Division showing that the downtown area overwhelmingly voted against the center. Of the 426 combined votes from the two downtown precincts, 365, or 83.2 percent, rejected the community center bond.

The vote on the Snoqualmie Ridge, however, was a lot closer. Of the 944 votes cast in the one Snoqualmie Ridge precinct, 446, or 47.25 percent, rejected the bond.

"It's no big surprise," Larson said.

Other than the demographics of the bond's unpopularity, Larson and the other council members were reluctant to draw more conclusions about what to present next.

"Everybody can read all kinds of different things into it. To me that's a problem," Councilman Dick Kirby said later.

Kirby said the cost of maintaining a community center with a pool may have scared away a lot of Snoqualmie residents who have dealt with maintenance-and-operations levies from the hospital district, which had problems in the past.

"We in town have had a negative experience with those," Kirby said.

For the complete story, pick up a copy of this week's Valley Record

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