Yorkville voters will be able to give a thumbs up or down to the proposed purchase - and the tentative terms - of the , which the city has been leasing for about five years.
Aldermen approved that referendum Tuesday as they rejected a similar question about selling bonds to build a new recreation facility. The second question surfaced through recent talks about partnering with the Fox Valley YMCA and the city providing half of the estimated $8 million cost for a shared building.
The second question was "silly" to ask voters, because the city can't afford to borrow $4 million for a new facility, Mayor Gary Golinski said.
“We’re in no position to issue $4 million in bonds, especially for a REC Center,” Golinski said, adding that improving roads should be a higher priority.
But purchasing the existing REC Center facility from Walker Custom Homes won't require borrowing money. The referendum will ask voters if the city should purchase the building through an installment contract of up to 20 years for up to $2.5 million at an annual interest rate not to exceed 6 percent. Those figures are part of a this spring; a final agreement has not been made.
Ward 1 Alderman George Gilson Jr. pushed city leaders to include financial specifics in the question.
“I think they do need to know a sales price," Gilson said. "They do need to know the interest because the interest is pretty important here, and they do need a say."
Voting against placing that question on the November ballot were Ward 3 Alderman Chris Funkhouser, Ward 2 Alderman Jackie Milschewski, and Ward 4 Alderman Diane Teeling.
“As much as I want this (referendum), I don’t like the wording," Funkhouser said.
The referendum also will push back city leaders' timeframe for making a decision about the facility. Golinski had planned to host public hearings on the issue at the June, July and August meetings so aldermen could vote on the issue in September.