Survey to guide action on pool

The pool will close eventually if nothing is done.
& lt;a & gt;By TIM YOVICH & lt;/a & gt;
HUBBARD -- Residents of the school district will be asked in April to help determine the fate of the community swimming pool.
Superintendent James Herrholtz said a survey will ask residents what they want done with the pool, which needs repairs and operated last year with a $220,000 deficit.
"We need to invest in what we have before we lose it," Herrholtz said. "We want to know what our residents feel. The only way we know is to ask."
Hubbard Community Pool opened in 1975 with a 25-year bond issue paying for construction. The school system has provided operating funds.
"Residents purchased this pool. It's ours. We paid for it. What are we going to do next?" Herrholtz asked.
In 1985, a 1-mill operating levy was approved by voters, but under the state funding formula for schools, the district is receiving less revenue from the levy.
Herrholtz said a 1-mill additional levy would generate $198,000 annually.
The pool needs dehumidifiers and a pump, roof repairs and locker-room renovations.
Survey contents
The survey that will be distributed the second week in April will ask if residents would support an additional levy and whether supporters would prefer a permanent maintenance levy or a temporary bond issue to create a community center.
A center would include an addition to the pool building with exercise equipment.
Residents will also be asked if they want the current school swimming program continued and to close the facility to the general community to reduce costs.
In addition, they will be asked if they want the pool closed and the 1-mill operating levy removed from their tax bill, and whether the school district should get out of the pool business and turn it over to an independent commission.
"We're exploring all possible options," Herrholtz said, adding that if nothing is done, the pool will be closed in "a few years."
Current operations
The pool has been closed weekends unless it is rented at about $200 an hour to pay for lifeguards, a custodian and utilities.
Another cost-saving measure that has been discussed is charging pupils a $35 annual user fee.
The pool is certainly used, Herrholtz explained, with pupils learning how to swim and classes held for lifeguards, water safety, CPR, defibrillator operation and beach rescue.
It's also used by senior citizens, the Hubbard Aquatics Club and the school's swimming and diving teams.
Herrholtz said the city administration and council have offered to apply for grants to help with expenses, but the pool remains the responsibility of the school system.
Herrholtz said that in 1975, the pool was presented to voters as a "community pool."
"The city, however, doesn't have anything to do with it. There is no sharing of costs," he noted.
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