Independence residents have agreed to finance the construction of a new municipal swimming pool. Voters overwhelmingly passed a $3 million bond issue on Tuesday (Aug. 4, 2015).

Unofficial results from the Buchanan County Auditor's Office showed nearly 76-percent favored the referendum, with the vote being 796 "Yes" and 245 "No". The bond issue required a 60-percent super-majority to pass.

Approval of the plan means that residents will be paying more in property taxes. The owner of a home valued at $100,000 will pay approximately $60 more per year.

Passage of the referendum will allow city officials to proceed with their plan to replace the current 61-year-old municipal pool with a new one, a few blocks from the existing pool. The new swimming pool will be built on the site of the former Independence Middle/High School building, which is scheduled for demolition soon.

The current pool was built in 1954 at a cost of $77,000. According to city officials, the pool has been in use more than two decades past its designed 40-year life-span. They said concrete on the pool is deteriorating and it leaks, losing an estimated 4,000 gallons of water a day.

Total cost to replace the existing pool is estimated at $4.2 million. Supporters plan to raise the remaining $1.2 million needed to finish the project.

City officials are hoping to begin construction in May 2016, with a targeted opening date of 2017.