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Pool is a frill, not a necessity

Costs to build and maintain an aquatics center have not been presented in detail. The final decisions and design are to be complete after voter approval? We won’t know what we are voting for.

The following is based on information provided by a certified pool operator at the location where I currently swim. In addition, I have been previously certified as a pool and spa operator coupled with Red Cross certifications.

A pool 75 feet by 35 feet with depths of 3 to 7 feet and five lanes uses 90,000 gallons of water. Annual cleaning requires emptying and refilling the pool. Topping takes 5,000 gallons of water. Heating the water (82 degrees) costs $2,000 monthly. Sodium hypochlorite costs $800 monthly. Vacuuming for one hour uses 50 gallons of water per minute with water going down a drain and it then must be replaced.

Water clarity calls for additional chemicals. Cleansing showers before entering the pool are required by state law.

Air temperature, ventilation and humidity are controlled by sensors which are replaced every six months. The pool area must have rescue poles, rings and belts, a gurney, ladders, nonskid surfaces and flotation lines between each lane. Posted rules and regulations must be strategically placed and enforced. Safety, first aid and sanitation must be in operation.

Contracted and salaried personnel include a certified pool operator, a mechanical engineer, a manager and a financial officer. Additional staff include certified life guards, certified instructors, a certified aquatics director, security officials, janitorial staff, attendants, office personnel and a groundskeeper.

Maintenance costs for the building starts with offices, locker rooms, shower rooms, storage space. Equipment includes filters, plumbing, electronics, gages, dials, sensors, pumps and supply services (towels, padlocks, laundry, soap, paper towels, shampoo, toilet paper) and other such amenities. Hours of operation are a relevant factor with overhead costs. Liability insurance?

When careful attention is paid to the use of water alone, the amount in gallons is enormous and costly.

In August 2013 our sewer flat billing was increased by $2 and our parks maintenance increased by 56 cents. These increases are not voted on but determined and put in place by the city. Would the city impose additional increases to cover an aquatics center?

West Linn has aging water and sewer pipes, desperately needs a new reservoir and has streets in disrepair. We are currently faced with budget restrictions. The new police station is an ongoing cost. These are priorities. An aquatic center is not. It is a frill, not a necessity. It is money down the drain. There are a number of public and private pool facilities within a reasonable radius of West Linn.

Vote no on Measure 3-432.

Angela Dreher is a resident of West Linn.




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