Harrer Pool Referendum

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Brief History of Harrer Pool

Harrer Park Pool & Bathhouse
Built in 1962 and renovated in 1995. The 1995 renovations included the addition of the spray area, canopy shade structure, and updates to the bathhouse. Harrer Pool amenities: 50-meter lap pool, wading pool, dive well, and bathhouse.

In 2017, the Morton Grove Park District commissioned Williams Architects (WA) to provide an assessment of the Harrer Pool. The intent of the evaluation was to determine the present condition of the facility and pools to consider planning for aquatic repairs/replacements as they relate to long range considerations for this facility and make informed decisions regarding future operations. On-site visual inspections were conducted in May and June 2017

  • The investigation included a visual examination of the structure and finish for the pools, pool gutter systems, exposed piping, pool filtration systems, chemical control and feed systems, deck areas and related equipment.

Executive Summary results of Harrer Pool

  • It was determined that the 55-year-old facility, was well beyond the expected 30 to 40-year lifespan of a pool facility.
  • Repairs and replacement items listed in report.

With the facility at its current age and condition, it is not advisable to continue to make any repairs or improvements extending this facility.
Click to view the 2017 Harrer Pool Williams report.

Community Survey
The Board of Park Commissioners approved a 2017 community-wide survey to, in part, ascertain what the community would like the park district to do with the pool.  The survey asked residents’ opinions on if the park district should:

  1. Replace Harrer Pool with a similar-sized pool and facility, to ensure better operations and overall safety for decades to come,
  2. Replace Harrer Pool with a larger pool and new features (e.g., bathhouses, some water park features), while still ensuring better operations and safety for decades to come,
  3. Keep the spray ground facility at Harrer Pool, but close and remove the pool by filling in that site and permanently keep it as park/open space,
  4. Keep the newer spray ground facility, close and remove the pool by filling in that site at least temporarily, and consider building a recreation center at that location that could include an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a larger fitness center (to replace the Prairie View fitness room), gym courts, and dedicated daycare and preschool program space.

The survey results showed the community-supported Option 4 with Option 1 a close second. There was some support for Option 2, and Option 3, was opposed by residents. Click here to view the Morton Grove Park District Community Survey report.

The park district then commissioned Williams Architects to design concepts for each option. These concepts allowed visualization of each option for residents.

Williams Architects presented the concepts at the May 16th Board meeting, for Morton Grove Park District residents to review. Post-meeting, options posted to the website, residents could view options and provide feedback to the park board.
Harrer Park Pool Option 1     Harrer Park Pool Option 2      Harrer Park Pool Option 3        Harrer Park Pool Option 4

Based on feedback from residents, cost estimates, and tax implications, the Park Board approved Option 1 as the concept discussed at the town hall meetings.

Spring 2019
In Spring 2019, under careful review of the condition of the pool it was decided that the Summer of 2019 would be its final season in its current state.

 

2019 TOWN HALL MEETINGS

The Board of Park Commissioners and staff held four town hall meetings and provided residents a brief history of the pool, an overview of the current condition, and possible replace project concepts, with cost and tax implications, and answered any questions residents had.

Saturday, September 21, 2019 National Fieldhouse 10:00 am
Saturday, August 17, 2019 Harrer Park Pavilion 1:00  pm
Wednesday, August 28, 2019 PVCC 6:30 pm
Wednesday, September 11,2019 MG Civic Center 6:30 pm

A Special Meeting was held October 2, 2019, to listen to concerned citizen’s comments about a potential project for the replacement of Harrer Pool. Members of the Park District Board looked to gather more comments and suggestions from residents. The public was encouraged to attend. The board briefly discussed all options and received public feedback at Wednesday’s meeting. Click here to be directed to the video of the meeting.

 

 

January 6 – News Release

Click to view

Harrer Pool is a community asset and will need community-wide support for a replacement.  The park district does not have funds available to pay for a project.  The only way to fund a project is through a voter-approved referendum. Voting-eligible residents of Morton Grove will have the opportunity to decide if they will or will not support the project as part of a ballot question in March of 2020.

For comments or for more information, please contact us at board@mgparks.com, or Jeff Wait, Executive Director at (847) 965-0383.
Questions? Visit the Harrer Pool Referendum- FAQ page.   Please attend one the Harrer Pool Referendum – Open House (s) listed below.

 

Harrer Pool Referendum – Open House (s)

Residents that would like to learn more about the March 17 Morton Grove Park District Harrer Pool Referendum are encouraged to attend one of the upcoming Open House(s). Please feel free to stop by and ask questions so you can make an informed decision when you vote on this measure on March 17.

Monday, February 17 MG Civic Center 6:30 pm
Wednesday, March 11 Prairie View Community Center 6:30 pm

Prairie View Community Center is located at 6834 Dempster Street Morton Grove, IL 60053
Morton Grove Civic Center is located at  6140 Dempster St Morton Grove, IL 60053

Click here to view the updated conceptual plan based on resident comments from Town Hall Meetings.

 

 

HOW DO I REGISTER TO VOTE?
https://www.cookcountyclerk.com/agency/register-vote

HOW DO I VOTE?
Election Day is March 17, 2020. Click here to find polling places

WHAT IS THE EXACT QUESTION THAT WILL APPEAR ON THE BALLOT?
“Shall the limiting rate under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law for the Morton Grove Park District, Cook County, Illinois, be increased by an additional amount equal to .105% above the limiting rate for levy year 2018 for the purposes of renovating, redeveloping, operating, and maintaining the property and facilities known as Harrer Park Pool, owned by the Morton Grove Park District, and for other lawful purposes of the Morton Grove Park District, and be equal to .400% of the equalized assessed value of the taxable property therein for levy year 2020?” 1) The approximate amount of taxes extendable at the most recently extended limiting rate is $2,307,783, and the approximate amount of taxes extendable if the proposition is approved is $3,129,197. 2) For the 2020 levy year the approximate amount of the additional tax extendable against property containing a single family residence and having a fair market value at the time of the referendum of $100,000 is estimated to be $30.57. 3) If the proposition is approved, the aggregate extension for 2020 will be determined by the limiting rate set forth in the proposition, rather than the otherwise applicable limiting rate calculated under the provisions of the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (commonly known as the Property Tax Cap Law).”

WHAT DOES THE QUESTION ON THE BALLOT IN THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH MEAN?
We know the ballot question language is confusing, but the language used is required by law. Ultimately, this question is asking voters whether to approve an increase in the park district’s property tax rate. If approved, a property owner within the park district will see an increase of approximately $2.55 per month for every $100.000 of property value. The property owner would not see this increase until 2021.

WHERE WOULD THE NEW FACILITY BE LOCATED?
The location of the replacement facility would be at the existing location as Harrer Pool, located at 6520 Dempster Street adjacent to the Harrer Park ball fields and Harrer Park Pavilion, home of most summer special events.

WHAT AMENITIES WILL THE FACILITY HAVE?
The money would be to replace Harrer Pool with the following options as identified by community members: A 50-meter, 6 lane heated lap pool (55% of survey respondents chose this option), separate spray pad and activity pool for kids, separate slide and diving areas, improved concessions, new bath house, and a party room, which could be used for programming during the off-season. The pool will also allow the Park District to offer new programming.

CAN YOU BE MORE SPECIFIC ON USAGE OF LAP POOL
The 50-meter, six lane heated pool would be used for open swim with two designated lap lanes for lap swim. The open swim area would house an extensive program of swimming lessons for all ages during the early mornings before public open swim hours.

WHEN WOULD THE NEW POOL BE BUILT?
We would seek an architect to begin work immediately if the referendum is successful. We would anticipate breaking ground on the replacement pool early Fall of 2020, with the aim to open to the public in Summer 2021.

WHY SHOULD I VOTE FOR THIS REFERENDUM?
How you vote is your decision. If the referendum passes, it would allow the Park District to keep Harrer Pool a part of the Morton Grove community for generations to come. Regardless of how you decide to vote on this issue, remember to vote on March 17.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE REFERENDUM DOESN’T PASS?
If the referendum doesn’t pass, Harrer Pool is not likely to reopen in the foreseeable future.

HOW MANY TIMES PER SEASON DO PEOPLE USE HARRER POOL?
Pool usage overall in Morton Grove has steadily increased in the last three years, with a 21% increase between 2018 and 2019.

WHAT PERCENTAGE OF MY TAX BILL GOES TO THE MORTON GROVE PARK DISTRICT?
Approximately 4.4% of your annual tax payment goes towards the Morton Grove Park District, which is comparable to and even less than some similarly sized area park districts.

ARE THE MORTON GROVE PARK DISTRICT AND THE VILLAGE OF MORTON GROVE ONE ENTITY?
No. The Morton Grove Park District is an autonomous unit of government, separate and distinct from the Village of Morton Grove. The Park District’s main source of revenue is property taxes. The Park District does not receive sales tax. The Park District collaborates with the Village and other entities when doing so saves money in the delivery of public services.

CAN THE PARK DISTRICT GET ANY GRANTS TO HELP OFFSET THE COST AND ASK LESS OF TAXPAYERS?
The Park District actively pursues grant and sponsorship funding. We will continue to actively pursue grants and partnerships. If a grant is awarded, we would use the funds to offset the cost of the project.

WILL THERE BE PUBLIC INFORMATION MEETINGS?
Yes! The public is invited to attend the second Harrer Pool Referendum-Open House scheduled for Wednesday, March 11 at 6:30 am, located at the Prairie View Community Center, 6834 Dempster Street.

In addition, the public is always welcome to attend the monthly Park Board meetings that occur every third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm, located at the Prairie View Community Center.

MORE QUESTIONS?
Please contact us at board@mgparks.com or call Jeff Wait, Morton Grove Park District Executive Director at 847-965-1200 and we’d be happy to answer any other questions you have. Your additional questions will help us continue to develop our FAQ page and help your household make an informed decision this March!

The above FAQs are based on the best available information. Updates will be made to this page as needed.
Updated 2/20/2020.

Press Releases

2020
January 6, 2020

In the News

2020
February 18, 2020 Chicago Tribune
January 15, 2020 Bugle Newspaper
January 8, 2020 Bugle Newspaper
January 6, 2020 Patch

2019
December 23, 2019   Chicago Tribune
August 19, 2019   Chicago Tribune
April 23, 2019   Chicago Tribune