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Letter to the Editor: Vote yes to pool

— Say ‘yes’ to pool

To the editor:

During the time my wife and I were raising our children, the swimming pool was vital to our family. All of our three children competed on the swim team and this experience was important to them in their growing up years. Although our kids are now adults and moved from the community, we continue to be concerned about having a pool available for our community. We urge that all voters support the Pool Bond which will be on the November 2013 ballot.

The pool is important to the livability of our community. This is a simple gathering area for families, especially children, and tourists.

This past summer 388 kids took swim lessons at the pool and over 80 kids participated on The Dalles swim team.

The current pool was built in 1938. Tenneson Engineering has determined that it must be replaced due to structural concerns and public safety. This replacement is critical to the city’s youth, families, tourists and our businesses’ all around health.

The newly developed pool will include a 50 meter competitive pool, water slide, aqua wall, concessions, lockers, showers, seating and storage. The Park and Rec offices will also be relocated there to facilitate the Park and Rec’s management of the pool.

In addition to the actual pool, the pool area will include community green space with updated irrigation and picnic shelters.

All good things come at a cost; however the benefit of the pool compared to the cost appears to be a bargain. The pool bond will call for 28.6 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. A $200,000 home’s increased tax associated with the pool would be about $57, that’s less than $5 per month.

Park and Rec has recently received a $99,000 grant to cover the cost of a “splash pad.” The splash pad will be a free feature located next to the pool and will be an area where children and non-swimmers can play in the water.

The pool and its accompanying green space will augment tourism in The Dalles. Presently, many gorge families travel to Pendleton to swim at the Pendleton pool, and if the measure passes, our new pool will be a closer facility for these families.

The income to the community associated with special events at the pool, such as the annual swim meet, is substantial. Only by voting “yes” for the pool can our community keep this vital component in the community’s livability.

James M. Habberstad

The Dalles


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