Aquatic Center named after former mayor

The Big Spring City Council voted unanimously to rename the Big Spring Aquatic Center the Russ McEwen Aquatic Center in honor of the former mayor during a special meeting held Saturday afternoon.The motion to rename the facility was made by District 4 Councilman Bobby McDonald.Former mayor McEwen, who passed away at his home Oct. 21, heavily supported the aquatic center project, which was opened to the public last summer.McEwen served on the Big Spring City Council from 1981 until 1988 and as mayor from 2000 until 2010. McEwen is also credited with helping retain the Veterans Affairs hospital in Big Spring after it was targeted for closing or moving by the federal government and was named 2011 Man of the Year by the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce.Also during the special meeting, the council canvassed the results of the Nov. 6 election, which included a proposition to make radical changes to the city's economic development corporation.The proposition — which was championed by Mayor Tommy Duncan and received stiff opposition from local economic development officials — called for the abolishment of the existing Type A economic development corporation and to create a new, Type B agency.The proposition failed, receiving 3,257 ballots against (61.34 percent) and 2,053 votes in its favor (38.66 percent).Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the city council is expected to meet again Dec. 11, the government board's last regularly scheduled meeting of 2012.