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Support The Pool

Dear Editor,
My family has lived in Carolina Beach for five years. We've headquartered our business here and we've been involved in a variety of activities from the day we first lived here. We love this community and are committed to it now and in the future. When we heard that there was a possibility of building a multi-use community pool, I was personally excited and offered to help in any way possible. I volunteered for my first public service as a member of the Carolina Beach Pool Committee.
There are many good reasons to move forward with this project including; additional healthy activities for our community members and visitors, increased health and safety for the children in our community, and opportunity to bring visitors/commerce to our area.
I have discovered that each member of the Carolina Beach Pool Committee takes his or her role very seriously. Even though I personally want this project to go forward, I do not believe that any member would recommend a model that would pose another threat to our tax base. We've spent months carefully reviewing project details so that we can present project costs to our community that are suitably conservative, and so that we can meet the budget for building the pool as well as accurately estimate future operating costs.  Our goal has been to remove any possible surprises from this project.
At the last Committee meeting we viewed a video presentation of the project. Some in attendance described the latter half of the video as “marketing fluff”. I agree. In hindsight, the ending of the video may have been overly optimistic. This was an unanticipated outcome of our passion to execute a significant community improvement. In the end our optimism may have detracted from the following main points that should not be missed:
1. With modest membership, our model can be made to work financially so that there is no tax burden to the community. The pool committee spent many hours preparing and reviewing the detailed budget spreadsheet which ended up in our presentation as a summary. The more detailed spreadsheet will be available to community members for additional scrutiny. The numbers can be found along with other valuable information on the project’s Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Carolina-Beach-Community-Swimming-Pool/171506732891373?fref=t s
2. In cooperation with our engineering firm and the township, we have planned for parking adequate for full membership. We have also created a strategy for optional additions to the required spaces should membership grow beyond our original estimates. There are also ongoing efforts to provide additional parking, over and above the Town Ordinance, so that there will be no inconveniences if we were to host larger events.
3. Our committee sent out a survey to community members. 55% were in support of the pool project, which is well above the support typically seen for this type of project.
The fact that a majority of our respondents are in favor of this project is a key indicator that a community pool will at least witness modest membership numbers, which in turn will make the pool self-sustaining and not a tax burden.
As a committee member, I am in full support of the pool. I feel that the benefits of the community pool outweigh the costs, especially since the pool’s operating costs and construction will be paid for entirely by the membership. I would challenge those residents who are unsure of our direction to review the large amount of publicly available Committee documents and, furthermore, to seek out the opportunity to be heard regarding any open questions concerning the pool project. The committee meets most Thursday afternoons at 4:00 pm. Communication and transparency are a reality here in Carolina Beach, and they are the bedrock for the growth and development of our community.
Please come and participate. This project is important to the community. I believe it will add value to our community. If you agree or disagree we would love to hear your opinion; we value your input. If you get involved your voice will be heard. We look forward to hearing from you.
John Maguire,
Carolina Beach, NC