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Councilman sees solar leases as possible funding source for new pool

City Council is considering a ballot question that could put a new swimming pool in Boulder City.

The proposal by Councilman Cam Walker would ask voters’ permission to use future revenues from solar leases in Eldorado Valley to fund a new pool.

“We have land leases coming up that are going to give us $3 to $4 million a year, so can we borrow some of that money to build a pool instead of just putting it in the general fund?” Walker asked.

The proposal would be to borrow, or create bonds, against future revenue from the leasing the land to solar companies Sun Power and Techron Solar.

Walker said that using solar money to pay for a new pool would give the community a chance to benefit from the city’s partnership with solar companies.

“By just putting the money into the general fund we are not giving the community a chance to benefit from these leases,” Walker said. “The city needs to know that by borrowing future solar lease revenue today we can build a new pool.”

Before the matter can come before voters, City Attorney Dave Olsen is looking into the legality of borrowing against future revenue and if creating the bonds would require voter approval, according to City Clerk Lorene Krumm.

An initiative in 2010 added a provision to the city code that requires new debt of over $1 million be brought to the voters for approval.

Mayor Rod Woodbury said he liked the idea of a new pool, but wanted to table the discussion until he had more information.

“I think a new pool is a great idea, but I have some issues I need to bounce off a few people before I can make a decision on this,” Woodbury said. “I move to direct staff to check if a ballot question is necessary.”

Ballot questions must be submitted to voters 60 days before an election with a description of how the pros and cons of the proposal. The Boulder City Municipal election primary is scheduled for April 4 with early voting from March 22-25. The general election is scheduled for June 13 with early voting on May 31 to June 3. Ballot questions can only be voted on during the general election.

Additionally, City Council unanimously voted to eliminate the polling place at Garrett Junior High School because of its proximity to the polling place at King Elementary.

“It does not make sense to have two schools within a block of each other serve as voter centers,” Krumm said.

City Council also unanimously voted to lower the fee to file for running for an elected position to $25 from $75. Councilman Duncan McCoy said the price should be lowered because $75 was an arbitrary number and a lower filing fee could encourage more people to run for elected office.

Contact reporter Max Lancaster at mlancaster @bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow him on Twitter @MLancasterBCR.

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