Controversy over new pool: New referendum on swimming pool in Bonn

Controversy over new pool : New referendum on swimming pool in Bonn

Whether or not a new swimming pool facility will be built in Bonn remains controversial. It will be up to Bonn residents to decide in a new referendum.

For the second time in the history of the city, Bonn residents will be called on to participate in a referendum. The city council decided in its meeting on Thursday evening not to join the successful citizen’s initiative which put a stop to the building of a new central swimming pool facility. It will be left up to Bonn voters to decide how to proceed now. The core issue is whether or not the planned “Wasserland” swimming pool in Dottendorf should be built.

The citizen’s initiative was reviewed and found to be legally permissible as it had 10,808 valid signatures, more than the 9,929 signatures required. It had also been submitted before the deadline of April 26. Now the administration has to get a new referendum started.

Instead of mailing out a pamphlet with each voting form, the administration wants to post the information on the city website and distribute it in key places in the city for people to review. Residents could also order a free copy by phone if desired. This way of getting out the information would avoid extra costs of 250,000 euros.

The referendum is viewed a success when the question has been answered with a “yes” by at least ten percent of those entitled to vote, and the “yes” vote is a majority of the votes cast. If this majority is reached, it has the same effect as a decision by the city council.

The first referendum in the spring of 2017 was about the question of whether the Kurfürstenbad indoor swimming facility should be renovated and kept in use. It was unsuccessful with 51.64 percent voting “no”, and 48.36 percent voting “yes”.

(Original text: Lisa Inhoffen, Philipp Königs. Translation: ck)