Letters to the Editor

Parks & Rec district: Fund pool repairs first

In response to “Parks district postpones kids’ summer programs” (News-Times, March 27).

A NORESCO/Don Carey Facility Assessment report of the John Vanderzicht Memorial Pool’s condition dated July 2000 stated that the pool needs repairs amounting to over $681,000. That year the taxpayers voted to increase the pool’s O&M General Property tax levy rate from $0.15 to $0.20 to take care of these repairs. I am a regular pool user and voted for this levy increase.

Since July 2000, the pool has spent approximately $121,000 to complete 11 repair projects. There are nine more “required” repair projects costing approximately $200,000. These include main circuit breaker replacement, secondary water heater for locker rooms, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and water chiller replacement, locker room heater replacement, boiler replacement, roof and gutter repairs, sauna room rehab and building doors replacements.

In addition to these required repairs there is a list of 11 “desired projects” costing approximately $298,000. That totals $498,000 to maintain the pool. The pool’s 2002 Repair & Maintenance budget amounts to $84,160.

As a taxpayer paying my 20 cents per $1,000 toward this pool I want to see that it is properly maintained. I want to see that the first priority goes to fixing the required repair projects. The second priority goes to the desired projects and the third priority goes to the establishment of a depreciation replacement budget line item so that money is available to replace the piece of equipment that has reached the end of its service life — not to have the equipment fail then try to figure how to fund its replacement.

After these three priorities have been addressed, funded and repaired, then and only then should the parks district look to other areas where it can expand its services to the majority of the public.

If you feel the same as I do regarding this subject then please contact the North Whidbey Parks & Recreation District Board at 85 S.E. Jerome St., Oak Harbor, WA 98277.

I still believe that elected officials work for us.

Tom Johnson

Oak Harbor

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