Election letter: Aquatic center -- No

July 25, 2013 

The proposed aquatic center sounds very appealing, and I don't have a problem with the 0.01 cent sales tax increase. However, I'd like to offer another idea for consideration.

I learned to swim in the early 1950s at the Kennewick swimming pool. Kennewick's population was around 12,000 at the time. What does Kennewick have today for its approximately 75,000 residents? The same single swimming pool I learned to swim in nearly 60 years ago is still the only public pool available. Which, when you think about it, is rather outrageous.

The situation is similar in Pasco and Richland. Perhaps a better use of the increased sale tax revenue would be to build two or three additional, simple pools in each city that could be more easily accessed by kids (and adults). With both parents working in many families, transportation from the far reaches of the Tri-Cities and attendant safety concerns would be a problem for an aquatic center.

Granted, these would not be indoor pools, but it would be an improvement over what we have now. I fear the aquatic center would not be self-sustaining nor easily accessible for many Tri-Citians.


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