Regional project, regional support

Several regional aquatic organizations have recently come forward to support the idea of rebuilding Ashland’s Daniel Meyer Pool to become a regional aquatics center. They have stated that water activities are beneficial and fun, and I trust that most people would agree. I grew up in a city with an active municipally supported parks board, and I learned how to swim in lessons it sponsored, eventually earning my Red Cross senior lifesaving certificate. Also, I have enjoyed lap swimming most of my adult life.

However, the enjoyment of water activities does not logically lead to a conclusion that Ashland taxpayers should fund a $3.5 million bond for the construction of an aquatics center that would serve the greater region. In addition to these construction costs, figures presented by Ashland Parks Director Michael Black at the Nov. 26 APRC planning meeting show that annual maintenance costs would increase from the current $160,000 to more than $306,000. If the current projected 50 percent recovery rate is maintained, this would mean annual costs of $153,000 to be paid by Ashland taxpayers, an increase of $73,000.

As of the Nov. 26 meeting, it was Mr. Black’s plan to persuade the Ashland School Board to include the $3.5 million for regional pool construction in the district’s upcoming bond issue. Also stated was that the planned 30-foot-high pool covering will remain year round, with the addition of HVAC for heat and dehumidifying.

The cost of this project should not be borne by Ashland taxpayers. It should be a regional effort and should be constructed in a more appropriate location. For more information on this issue, please go to, and click on the link “Ignored Audit Recommendations.”

Debbie Mattsson