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Back You are here: Home Opinion Opinion Section Letters to the Editor Why Would We Spend Money On A Swimming Pool In This Economy?

Why Would We Spend Money On A Swimming Pool In This Economy?

Honorable Mayor Rothrock,
Quote from the Carolina Beach Master Plan “To involve the citizens and general public of the Town of Carolina Beach in planning and implementation of the Master Plan.  Through the use of public meetings to gather information and comments and the use of general citizen comments and suggestions during the analysis and evaluation processes.” Without reservation, I would like my comments to be read and heard during the analysis of the Aquatic center process.
According to the Master Plan, Regional Parks are typically large sites that provide a wide and varied range of both active and passive recreational opportunities.
These parks are intended to serve a substantial number of people who are willing to spend travel time to visit the sites. Examples of the types of areas and facilities provided in a Regional Park are sports complexes, swimming pools, fitness trails, picnic shelters, and playgrounds just to name a few.
Land selected for Regional Parks should be located on major transportation corridors and easily accessible by a large number of citizens. Is the small land behind the municipal building in a major transportation hub or adequate size for this swimming pool?
Public swimming pools have earned a bad rep as unsanitary Perti dishes of infectious diseases – but is this reputation unfounded or well deserved?
A few facts to consider: Unquestionably, one-in-eight public swimming pools were immediately shut down after inspection due to dirty water or other serious code violations, according to a 2008 government report.
According to the Centers for Disease Control each year, about 15 to 20 outbreaks of diseases, including stomach bugs and diarrhea, are blamed on dirty public pools. Along with maintenance costs, as a taxpayer I worry about the township’s liability, possible lawsuits if someone were hurt or drowned and the burden a municipal pool would put on an the staff.
Certainly, the Great Recession has drained city budgets across the country; it also has drained public pools for good. From New York City to Sacramento, Calif., pools now considered costly extravagances are being shuttered. Hence, running a pool is an expensive proposition. The Anderson Swim Club (South Carolina) spends $10,000 a month on insurance, operations, and maintenance. In Grand Traverse County, Mich., the only public pool for the county's 87,000 residents lost $244,000 last year. "The paradigm is shifting," says Mick Nelson, facilities development director for USA Swimming, who estimates that 80 percent of the 300 to 400 pools that close every year are operated either by school districts or municipalities
Moreover, let us look at the Master Plan of the Carolina Beach Recreation Center. The recreation center is the flagship indoor recreation facility of the Carolina Beach Parks and Recreation Department. The 21,778 square foot recreation center is home to the majority of supervised programs and services offered by the Department. It is recommended that the existing facility be expanded to include at a minimum a new aerobics floor, an expanded and improved weight room that includes cardio equipment, and, additional storage areas. In addition to the expansion of the recreation center, the Town should consider purchasing a small bus or other multi-passenger vehicle to be used for transporting program participants for in-town and out-of-town excursions. I feel taxpayer money should be spent in this area. When we are in this kind of economy and we’re trying to prioritize our dollars, why would we spend money on swimming pool?
Thank You,
William Princiotta,
Carolina Beach, NC