Pasco Public Facilities District mulls aquatics center management

By the Tri-City HeraldFebruary 1, 2013 

The Pasco Public Facilities District Board on Thursday pondered the possibility of running an aquatics center in the future.

Board members heard from Pasco city officials that members of the Regional Public Facilities District seem to favor the idea of contracting with the Pasco district to operate the aquatics center the regional group wants voters to approve.

The regional group agreed Jan. 23 to send a sales tax increase that would pay for the $35 million facility to the ballot.

The measure either will appear in August or November -- the board has yet to decide on the timing.

The board was formed a few years ago and worked to settle on a regional project to pursue. It picked an aquatics center as its first choice last summer, but the proposal hit a roadblock when the planned location -- TRAC off Road 68 in Pasco -- fell through.

The plan now is to build the center on land the city of Pasco has agreed to buy off Sandifur Parkway.

City Manager Gary Crutchfield told Pasco facilities district board members at their Thursday meeting that the regional group might decide to contract with them because they're smaller and can develop more specialized expertise than a group comprised of mostly elected officials from three cities.

Deputy City Manager Stan Strebel added that the regional group in the long-term may build multiple projects, and might not want to run them all.

But a decision on which group will run the aquatics center likely won't be made until after the sales tax is put to voters.

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