WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Friends of the Oregon Coast Aquatic Park announce conceptual design for facility at South Beach – Invite public to meeting Thursday, 5:30pm at H&R Block, 1460 No. Coast Highway

They hadn’t been much in the news lately but they have certainly made a splashy re-appearance with their conceptual drawing of a new $17 million dollar Oregon Coast Aquatic Park they want to build somewhere in South Beach. Friends of the Oregon Coast Aquatic Park (FOCAP) say the drawing illustrates the dramatic architecture that symbolizes the magnificent Oregon Coast environment and its power to draw tourists to the region. FOCAP’s Katherine Pedersen says tourism is the draw that will sustain the facility and make it more affordable for use by locals and local swim organizations.

Inside the facility are three pools, water slide, lazy river, food court, party room, and spectator overlook area of the lap pool. The lap pool can be calibrated for either 25 yards or 25 meters. There would be a good sized therapy pool, and a splash pad for the kids. The park’s location has not been determined based on a variety of factors, not the least of which is money. While Pederson says the facility would be mainly supported by user fees, mostly from tourists, the initial construction will be paid through private donations and grants. FOCAP is preparing an application to the City of Newport for a share of the city’s million dollar set-aside fund for tourist facilities construction. Pedersen says a local financial commitment must come first before outside donors would offer grants. She said those donors want to see a verifiable contribution from the local community to the project first.

Pedersen says the community atmosphere has changed on the subject of a community aquatic center over the past year and a half. A local campaign to build a new municipal swimming pool failed at the polls while the current pool gets older by the day. Those close to the issue say the old pool could suffer a major breakdown at any time and that the city would not have the money to fix it: and they may not want to fix it due to its advanced age. Should a new aquatic park be built, Pedersen said user fees for local swimmers and swim teams would be very close to what they’re paying now at the city pool because well over half of the park’s income would come from tourist related visitors.

Pedersen added that while FOCAP recently came close to qualifying an Aquatic Water Park taxing district on the ballot, they’re not inclined to try again because they believe they can build it with donations and grants, thereby guaranteeing the public would not be left with the financial responsibility for making it a success.

In the meantime the public is invited to the next general meeting of the Friends of the Oregon Coast Aquatic Park, coming up Thursday, December 15th at 5:30pm, at the H&R Block offices at The General Meeting for the Friends of the Oregon Coast Aquatic Park will be Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. in the H & R Block office located at 1460 N. Coast Highway, Newport (next to Coca Mocha Joe’s).

Pedersen says she and their board of directors wants everyone to see the exciting design concepts produced by Ms. Melica Dedijer and Mr. Glen Small, the project architects, who will also be on hand to discuss the project.

More information visit FOCAP on line at www.swimocac.org or by calling Kat Pedersen at 541 867-4649.

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