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Aquatic center proposal gets preliminary consent

Residents last night approved a preliminary master plan that reshapes the Lucas County Recreation Center with an aquatic center.

No overall projection was offered last night about what the improvements from the master plan would cost, nor how the county would pay for them.

Sandy Isenberg, president of the county commissioners, said a bond issue could be one way to pay for it.

“There is the issue of taking [funds] out of the capital reserve, which is not something we had planned on.”

Good comments were voiced about the numerous other components of the master plan outlined for focus groups. Residents said they liked what they saw and that the county should move forward.

There are other recreation options in the master plan besides the aquatic center that would include several pools, a water slide, and a trough for tubing. It includes an ice arena, a teen center with areas for skateboarding, inline hockey, and laser tag, and an indoor recreation center.

The plan is an outgrowth of efforts to redesign the center's 130 acres after the Toledo Mud Hens leave the center's Ned Skeldon Stadium to begin play next year in a ballpark going up in downtown Toledo.

The Lucas County Agricultural Society, sponsors of the annual county fair at the recreation Center, also is expected to move to a new location.

“It sounds good,” Midge Bellner, a Maumee resident, said. “I wondered if there would be anything for seniors.” The walking and bike path, to be wide enough to also accommodate in-line skaters, is a plus, she said. So are the swimming facilities.

The ice arena also drew nods of approval, particularly for those who were told it would include two sheets of ice to separate different types of skating activities.

“It needs good people running it, going 24-hours a day,” a woman said.

The master plan now goes to a steering committee studying the recreation Center and then to the county commissioners later this summer for possible approval.

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