Effort to build new pool in Susanville now depends on Measure 1D
The proposition on the Nov. 7 ballot “provides funding to school districts for this kind facility,” County Administrative Officer John Ketelsen told the Board of Supervisors at its Tuesday, Oct. 17 meeting.
Prop 1D “expands the purposes for which the funds can be used,” Ketelsen said, adding school districts have a better chance of receiving money from 1D if community’s come up with joint agreements such as the Joint Powers Agreement proposed to raised funds to build a pool.
“We have continued to meet on the pool project and the potential JPA,” he said.
Susanville has been without a public pool since Roosevelt Pool, closed in December 2004 due to structural safety issues.
In February the board directed Ketelsen to set up the meeting to discuss forming the JPA to build and run a new pool. The board decided to pursue the JPA instead of putting a transactions and use tax on the ballot.
“So, what we have decided to do is circulate a generic JPA,” to Lassen Community College, Lassen High School, the board of supervisors, the city of Susanville, the Susanville Indian Rancheria, Ketelsen said, and the Lassen Municipal Utility District “has entered the fray by asking to receive a copy of the JPA, as well.”
“The idea is that, before going through the steps of seeing who contributes what, we will propose to the various boards that they discuss the possibility of entering into the JPA in effort to get funding to the high school as soon as we get it,” he said.
The high school will then launch a community discussion of the design, scope and location of the new pool.
“Everyone agrees it must be geothermal,” Ketelsen said.
The potential JPA members have narrowed the location to four possible sites, using criteria of what LHS and LCC need for the pool to be part of their curriculum.
“Hopefully, if it does pass and after discussion by each entity, we can have a joint meeting of the boards of all players, perhaps at Jensen Hall, to kick it around and see what the level of participation might be in more detail,” he said.
Ketelsen said he will chair the effort, with LHS Superintendent Dan Lewis serving as co-chair and also taking the lead in spearheading the effort to resolve issues such as location and scope.
“Naturally, the high school is interested in the pool as a part of their curriculum and not so interested in the broader kind of facilities that were discussed as part of measure K, a half-cent sales tax measure to provide funding for a $12 million multi-purpose recreational center, which would have included a new swimming pool, Susanville voters rejected in November 2004.
The possible locations are the high school itself, “which has limited parking and access during the daytime,” Ketelsen said; the Credence Continuation High School property, “which everybody wants for one purpose or the other;” the existing site and the 18-acre site the city committed to using for a new pool on Sierra Road.
“I think we’re all going at it in the sense that if we move forward we’ll find some source of funding, which then perhaps the JPA can use as the basis of a bond or certificates of participation to raise the money,” Ketelsen said. “There’s quite a gap between the amount of money that would be available to the high school even if the measure passes, which the high school is of the opinion caps out about $2 million — and whatever the cost of construction would be, which has quite a range depending on what the design would be.”
Ketelsen said he hoped the JPA would find sources of funding from each of the participants as the process moves along.
“I have the same sentiments I’ve had for two years,” said District 5 Supervisor Jack Hanson, commending Ketelsen for all his work on the JPA. “If the community needs a pool, I just didn’t think that the (tax) measure the way it was being presented would pass. I haven’t got by that.”
“Those are my sentiments, too,” said District 3 Supervisor Lloyd Keefer. “I think this is really the proper route and I think we probably should have done this a year or two ago.”
District 2 Supervisor Jim Chapman said it’s important to note the city recognized deteriorization of Roosevelt pool several years ago. Chapman also said the effort to replace the pool “should have been launched a decade ago.”
“In terms of the criticism, I think it spreads all around,” Chapman said.
Chapman suggested looking into located the pool south of the Susan River across from the high school in the city’s riverfront parkway.
Ketelsen said the JPA’s potential members are hopeful Measure 1B will pass and “that the discussion of the JPA in its generic form among the different board members (will be) positive.”
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