Aug. 20, 2013 — Thanks to a bold and controversial plan from Susanville councilmember Brian Wilson and Lassen County District 2 Supervisor Jim Chapman, the city of Susanville and Lassen County may have taken the first steps to actually getting a new swimming pool for local residents.
According to the Wilson/Chapman plan, the city and the county each will allocate $200,000 per year from their budgets for 15 years — a hefty commitment, no doubt (a total of $3 million from each elected body). The city and the county would form a Pool Commission through a joint powers agreement that would have the decision-making authority to fund, construct, maintain and operate a swimming pool.
The pool commission would be comprised of two members from the Susanville City Council, two members from the Lassen County Board of Supervisors and a public member who would be appointed.
The pool commission could eventually morph into a recreation agency that could manage and promote any number of recreational activities in the county.
For the past several months Lassen County Administrative Officer Martin Nichols has chaired meetings with representatives from a number of interested parties including Lassen Community College, the Lassen Unified High School District, the Susanville School District, the city and the county as well as concerned citizens.
A number of topics have been discussed at these meetings including what kind of pool best serves the community and where should it be located.
As one might imagine, different participants have different ideas and that leads to different alternatives. These meetings have been positive and the discussions have been beneficial.
But when it comes to actually plunking some cold, hard cash down on the table to really get the ball rolling, no one has the millions of dollars to build the pool. Let’s not forget most pool facilities cost more to operate than the revenue they generate, so the ongoing maintenance and operational costs will need a funding source as well.
And then there’s the issue of what to do with the old pool and the building that’s been deemed unsafe.
Apparently no one has all the answers, but if Wilson and Chapman can convince two other members of their respective boards to go along with their proposal, the new pool commission will be able to start making decisions and begin to move the project forward.
Kudos to the local youngsters and the Pennies for the Pool project. Believe it or not, these boys and girls have collected more than $10,000 — more than one million pennies. Tony Jonas and Lassen Aquatics contributed $5,000 to the effort last week.
Community members and groups have also expressed an interest in building the pool, and they point out a community group could build a pool at a lower cost than any governmental entity. Some local contractors reportedly also have expressed an interest in donating their services when the time comes.
The Wilson/Chapman plan may be the catalyst to jump start the pool — a facility the community desires.
If Wilson and Chapman can get enough of their colleagues to agree to put some skin in the game, a pool may be one step closer to becoming a reality.
|< Prev||Next >|