Pool plan ill-advised
What comes to mind as I read the Daily Tidings Nov. 30 guest opinion in support of expanding Ashland’s Daniel Meyer Pool:
Of course the region would want Ashland taxpayers to pay for the $3.5 million pool alone. Other than representatives from Ashland High School athletics, all other signees are from the region, not Ashland.
The existing pool meets Ashland residents’ needs for recreation/play, swim lessons, water fitness, lap swimming, water safety, swim teams, therapy, etc. for all age groups.
Year-round usage is not planned when the project is completed. The pool will be open the same amount of days (100) until it is seen to be financially viable to open longer.
The funding for the $3.5 million bond will be paid by Ashland taxpayers, as well as the almost doubling of its ongoing operating costs. Currently the pool covers only 50 percent of its costs from fees.
No swim group (including Ashland School District) has made a solid commitment to pay usage fees into the long term.
No other group wants to build and operate the competitive pool for good reasons.
A regional pool on county land and funded by all cities and the county is a better solution.
Ashland’s city (including Parks and Recreation) budget is showing significant shortfalls in the near future. We need to prioritize maintaining what we have before expanding unnecessarily.
Ashland bond requests coming up are huge: $1.2 million to add to the council chamber, $60-$100 million for school district, $10-$12 million for a new city hall, and a possible bond for three police officers. We can’t afford any of this. The costs will be added to our property tax.