York voters gave a decisive thumbs up to the Long Sands bathhouse project, with 3,261 voting in favor of expending funds to complete the project, while 940 voted against the measure.
The bathhouse measure was one of 13 on the town ballot, all of which passed muster with voters — including an ordinance that defines short-term rentals, as well as two new chapters to the comprehensive plan governing bicycle and pedestrian use, and energy use. In addition, York voters mirrored the rest of the state in decisively voting against a York County casino and in favor of expanding Medicaid.
In all, 4,607 people voted, 40 percent of the town’s 11,500 registered voters — and a high turnout for an off-year election, said Town Clerk Mary-Anne Szeniawski. She attributed voter participation to the casino issue, saying that most social issues bring people to the polls.
The bathhouse vote on Tuesday caps a five-year effort to build a larger facility on Long Sands Road. The project had several setbacks, but the building committee has recently been working with York resident Glenn Farrell, who has locked in a price for the town.
The $216,000 approved by voters will be added to remaining funds on hand, for a firm cost to build the bathhouse of $785,541.
“That’s pretty substantial,” said Bathhouse Building Committee Chairman Jim Bartlett of the vote tally. “That’s great. I’d like to attribute the results to wisdom of York voters. A lot of people worked really hard to present a high value project that voters can be proud of. A lot of people spent a lot of time trying to do the best they can for the town.”
With approval in hand, Town Manager Steve Burns is expected to sign a contract with Farrell on Wednesday, and work is set to begin on Thursday. The goal is to have the new bathhouse ready for next summer.
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