As city work crews paint the municipal pool, the city Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee has rolled up its sleeves to come up with a proposal for a new one. The current pool is nearly 50 years old and is on its last legs according to city public Works Director Tim Gross. Parks and Recreation Director Jim Protiva adds that all they did was fix a small part of the pool’s drain gallery under the pool. He says the peripheral drains around the full length of the pool are in terrible shape and that the condition of the actual drain pipes under the pool are likely to be no better.
Nearly three years ago a voter election for a new pool failed by just 136 votes. That was for a $6.6 million dollar facility. Protiva said he now believes the vote margin could swing the other way, and then some, in light of the fact the current pool seems to be heading for its last swim meet in the sky.
Protiva said the advisory committee is committed to putting the best information available before the voters this November. A new pool would include a 25 yard (or meter) 8 lane pool, including a deep enough and accessible therapy pool, have enough spectator seats for swim meets, and have enough parking if constructed next to the city Recreation Center. Protiva said there could be enough parking in the City Hall area with better parking management. He said parking off to the south end of city hall contains plenty of spaces if city employees used those spaces instead of the ones immediately behind city hall.
Protiva said they’re going to consult with a pool design expert to include the improvements mentioned above and to salvage what is appropriate from the design of the 2010 pool proposal. He said the public will be invited to participate in a detailed public meeting, probably in May, to get community thoughts on a new pool.
Once the pool package is wrapped up, probably in early July, the city council would then be able to hold public hearings on it to make sure they didn’t miss anything. With the city council’s blessing, the proposed new pool would be placed on the November ballot. The 2010 pool proposal came it at $6.6 million with a required property tax increase of 43-cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. At the time, 43-cents was estimated to bump up property taxes on a home assessed at $200,000 by $86 a year, or roughly $7.16/month.