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Petition to put Civic Center improvements on ballot fails
Civic Center renovation sketch.jpg
Architect's rendering of Civic Center improvements

City officials, not their constituents, will decide how much to spend on the McMinnville Civic Center project. 

A petition calling for a referendum that would have allowed McMinnville voters to decide if officials should borrow up to $10 million for the project has failed to achieve enough signatures to be considered by the Warren County Election Commission.


“There will be no referendum on the Civic Center issue,” said David Rutherford, who spearheaded the petition drive. “We needed 675 signatures and only had 515. I understand that lots of misinformation was coming out of aldermen on the petition. The public gets what the public doesn’t understand.”

When asked to clarify that statement, Rutherford added, “Electorate think that the folks they vote for will represent them in decision making. Guess what, that doesn’t happen because of agendas or loyalties, for whatever the reason.”

The city hired HFR Design to provide architectural services and oversee the project and recently accepted a $9.2 million bid from Sain Construction Company. That bid includes complete renovation of the existing facility and expansion with two additions along the south and east sides of the building. 

This project does not include an indoor pool. However, an indoor lap pool and therapy pool are being considered as phase two revitalization of the facility. No final decisions have been made on that project.