Upgrades to Glenwood HS Activities Complex? Voters divided over bond issue

Mock-up of future activities complex; photo courtesy of Glenwood High School

On a daily basis, students in Glenwood, IA deal with rusty bleachers, disgusting bathrooms and a damaged track, but that could soon change with a huge tax increase.

However, right now, many voters are not on board with a proposed bond issue.

"The community in itself uses it a lot and at times it's an eyesore,” Track Coach Mark Starner says of the current activities complex. He says he’s ready for an upgrade.

Glenwood High School Activities Director Jeff Bissen wants one too. He says now is the time to build a $5 million dollar activities complex that would include new handicapped accessible bleachers, a turf football field and a new track.

Accomplishing all this means a tax bump would occur.

Bissen said, "On an average house in Glenwood you're looking at an extra $6 to $8 a month, and on some of the larger houses in Glenwood you're looking at anywhere from $18 to $20 dollars a month."

It's something that Tim O'Connor says he doesn't want. It's why he and many other seniors in Glenwood are against the activities complex bond.

O'Connor said, "We don't want taxes to increase and most of us don't feel that we need it."

Homeowner Denise O'Banion says she feels the same way.

"I do not believe it needs to be this pricey and I believe that the City of Glenwood needs to catch up on their general fund."

She says a new community swimming pool was just installed which was also pretty expensive for taxpayers.

O'Banion said, "I just think they need to slow down, and let the city homeowners and whoever else is affected catch up to it."

Bissen says he understands no one wants to pay more in taxes, but he wants the students to have an educational experience that will shape their lives for years to come.

People can vote on the bond at the Mills County Courthouse right now. The last day to vote is April 4.

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