The Newport City Council has voted unanimously to put a new $8 million municipal pool on the November ballot. The pool facility, with a bigger pool, a warm water pool and a therapy pool, would be built onto the city’s existing recreation center behind city hall. The bond measure entails a tax rate of 45 cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation. It works out to roughly $7.50 a month on a home whose assessed value is $200,000. The pool would not involve a water slide or a roof deck but they could be added later if there is enough money left over if the pool comes in under budget. However, city councilor David Allen said he would like to explore the idea that if the pool does, in fact, come under budget that the tax rate be reduced to give the savings to the taxpayers.
City Parks and Recreation Director Jim Protiva said the city’s Recreation Committee took a lot of public input on the pool’s design and that well over half of those who spoke in favor of the project said they would like to see a modest water slide included in the project. Protiva also raised the idea that if the council wanted to return the unused tax monies, the community might step forward and donate the money to install the water slide. He said it’s not that expensive. It’s not a big ticket item.
Others asked that a roof deck be included if there is surplus money available for that as well, saying that the pool will take out a lot of greenery on the ground, so adding a roof deck would help compensate for that loss.
The measure is now officially going to be on the November ballot. A similar measure appeared on the November 2010 ballot with the measure losing 1,861 yes to 2,132 no.