ROCHELLE — Flagg-Township voters came out in support of funding a community recreation center on Tuesday by a margin of 1,221 to 1,095.
The Flagg-Rochelle Community Park District plans to build a $14 million recreation center on the south property of the Helms Athletic Complex with an indoor turf fieldhouse, a large gymnasium, two swimming pools, a fitness center, a walking track and many more amenities.
“I’m glad that the majority of voters saw a need for a community center,” park director Jackee Ohlinger said on Wednesday morning. “We made efforts to inform and encourage all members to vote and I am appreciative of all the support.”
Ohlinger added that the timing for starting the project will be decided by the board in future meetings.
“It’s too early to know when we can actually break ground on the center,” she stated. “We were just very focused on presenting the project to voters and we are excited to be moving forward with it.”
Four candidates were running for three park commissioner positions, and a challenger came away with the most votes in the race for Flagg-Rochelle Community Park Board in Tuesday’s consolidated election.
Newcomer Jodie Hart received 1,545 votes, while incumbent John Dobbs garnered 1,529 votes and incumbent Dale Wells received 1,473 votes. All three candidates will be sworn in at the district’s May meeting.
“One of my top priorities I hope to accomplish is to work with the other commissioners and park district staff as a team to look at alternative opportunities and ways to include the entire population of Flagg-Rochelle,” Hart said in a profile she submitted to the News-Leader.
A fourth incumbent, Bud Norcross, who has served the last eight years on the park board, finished in fourth place with 1,263 votes and did not win a third term.
Norcross said he enjoyed his time on the board and was believes many goals were accomplished during in the past two terms.
“We are in much better financial shape today and we have done a nice job of improving our current parks and facilities in the past few years,” he said. “I will still be active in the community and keeping busy.”