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Referendum fails, but Rec Center purchase still possible in Yorkville

Updated: December 14, 2012 6:14AM

YORKVILLE – It was supposed to provide a clear-cut message from the voters.

But it could be that the results of the referendum asking voters if they want the city to buy the REC Center building makes the decision by the City Council just as difficult as it ever was.

The referendum failed, with 3,704 people opposing the city’s purchase of the property. But 3,408 voted yes, supporting the deal.

And the question did not just ask about the sale, but named the terms – a $2.5 million purchase price to be paid over 20 years, at 6 percent interest each year.

So the difference between both sides was almost exactly 300 votes – or less than 5 percent of the total votes cast.

With that kind of split, aldermen still could vote to buy the REC Center building, which the city now leases.

And it doesn’t erase the fear some city officials have that if they do not buy the REC Center, there will be no viable alternative place to house recreational programming the city. Yorkville does not have a Park District.

The city must make a decision soon, and already has had several public hearings on the subject, and now the referendum.

Discussion of the referendum might take place at the regular City Council meeting Tuesday, although it is not on the agenda.

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