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Residents say no to referendum

Voters overwhelmingly checked no to a proposed $8 million referendum that would have paid for an Outdoor Athletic Complex and renovations to the former St. Joseph's Church building.

With all seven precincts reporting the results were 1981 "no" and 877 "yes". Results won't be official until Wednesday afternoon when the city council meets to canvas the results.

The proposed referendum would have funded the construction of an Outdoor Athletic Complex on 57 acres of land donated to the city by Flint Hills Resource. If approved the project would have included 10 athletic fields including three green fields for soccer, football and lacrosse and seven ball fields.

In addition the funds would have paid for renovations to the former St. Joseph's church building. Renovations would have brought the building up to handicap accessibility and building codes. Eventually plans call for the church to be converted into an arts and cultural center.

If approved the referendum would have raised property taxes depending on the value of the home. Homes valued at $250,000 would have a tax increase of $71 a year; homes valued at $400,000 would have a $113 increase.