Supes, high school board launch pool war
“Ken was very passionate about the high school having the ability to have a pool,” said Lassen Association of Realtors President Noelle Haller-Riggs.
At the board of supervisors Tuesday, Sept. 18 meeting, District 1 Supervisor Bob Pyle’s motion to approve a swimming and recreation joint powers agreement died for lack of a second.
District 2 Supervisor Jim Chapman suggested the board write a letter asking why the high school district is no longer involved in the JPA between the city, Lassen County, Lassen Community College and the Lassen County Office of Education. The letter will also ask if the high school district has any plans to build its own pool independent of the JPA effort.
In a Sept. 18 e-mail to the newspaper, LUHSD Superintendent Dan Lewis claimed the high school district was never part of the JPA. Lewis said there was never an agenized item for the LHUSD board to vote on the JPA. It was agenized on Aug. 14 for discussion only.
“We did not sign an agreement. The spin at (the Sept. 12 Susanville City Council meeting) was that we withdrew, but we never actually took board action to join,” Lewis wrote. “Language issues in the proposed document presented by the city created some problems for us. The resolution passed by the supervisors also had specifics in it for their membership. … We are not prepared yet to enter into agreements with agencies that have ‘fixed language commitments’ on what roles agencies would play in a joint pool project.”
The board of supervisors passed a resolution at the June 18 meeting agreeing to participate in the JPA subject to the following five conditions:
•That any new pool facility project include the removal of the existing pool structure and facilities.
•That any new pool facility be located within a radius no farther from the Lassen Union High School than the existing facility’s location.
•That any new project initially emphasize aquatic facilities.
•That any new facility incorporate geothermal resources into its design and construction
•That any new facility incorporate maximum energy saving features so as to qualify for incentives available from Lassen Municipal Utilities District.
The JPA the board of supervisors considered on Sept. 18 did not include the five conditions.
District 3 Supervisor Lloyd Keefer said he was very disappointed that the high school and Susanville School District will not participate in the JPA.
“I see them as potential big players, I think, in this process,” Keefer said. “It tells me that maybe, at some point, we might have two efforts to build two swimming pools. I think the high school is certainly interested in having a swimming pool. They have the resources to do it. What I see clearly is maybe an effort to get two pools in town, which I think is totally absurd.”
The Susanville City Council approved the JPA on Sept. 12. The office of education approved the JPA at its Wednesday, Sept. 5 meeting.
Susanville has been without a public swimming facility since Roosevelt Pool closed in December 2004 due to structural safety issues.
Lewis basically revealed the high school district’s plan at the Lassen Swimming and Recreation Joint Powers Authority meeting at Jensen Hall on Monday, June 18, attended by the city, county, office of education high school and college boards.
“In fact, the high school district has gone so far as to have a preliminary drawing of a swimming pool by an architect for the possible location on the Credence High School site,” Lewis said at the June 18 meeting.
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