Sunday, November 15, 2009

Treading water

The advocates for a 50 meter swimming pool are nothing if not tenacious. A recent newsletter (.pdf) of the Columbia Clippers is a call to arms for swimming advocates to continue to push for the 50 meter swimming pool despite the bleak economic outlook. The newsletter puts an extremely misleading and disingenuous spin on the Aquatic Feasibility Study (.pdf):

While the study is inconclusive insofar as what type of facility (-ies) to pursue at this stage, it acknowledges that there is great demand and a real need for some type of public swim facility (-ies) in the county.

Of course some people demand a 50 meter pool. That does not mean that the county government should use tax dollars to provide one. People demand strip clubs, drugs, BMWs, etc. Should tax dollars be used to provide those things? If public demand is so high for a 50 meter pool, why are no private investors clamoring to build it?

According to the Aquatic Feasibility Study, a 50 meter pool will require taxpayers to come out of pocket about $2 million dollars annually to cover the operating deficit and debt service on a 50 meter pool. Regardless of the economic climate, that is a burden taxpayers should not have to bear.

I think the Department of Rec and Parks needs to get themselves together and take care of the assets they have now (like this eyesore of a park) rather than wasting more money on other projects.