Proposition 7 on Mt. Pleasant ballot has merit
A swimming pool is a great community resource, but it doesn’t pay for itself.
Leaders and citizens in Mt. Pleasant’s leadership have been working for 20 years to bring a swimming pool to their community. It’s finally going to happen. But now the community has come to a fork in the road in terms of aquatic center operations.
Proposition 7, a proposal on the election ballot, would add a 2.25 percent “local charge” to Mt. Pleasant electric bills and Questar natural gas bills charged within the city. If it passes, it would enable the center to operate year-round basis. Defeat of the proposition means the pool will be open in the summer only.
There’s another important consideration. If the pool stays open year-round so Wasatch Academy students can use it, the school has agreed to give the city $30,000 per year. The city wants to use money to make payments on a $1 million loan from Utah Community Impact Board for aquatic center construction.
If Proposition 7 fails, the pool won’t be able to stay open through the school year, and the Wasatch contribution will be lost.
The city council put Proposition 7 on the ballot so residents can decide for themselves if it’s worth shelling out cash to be able to enjoy a swimming pool year round.
In this case, the cash only adds up to an extra $1.67 per month on the average Mt. Pleasant electric bill and $1.80 per month on the average Questar natural gas bill, according to Monte Bona of the Aquatic Center Committee.
Is having an indoor swimming pool open and heated year round worth approximately $41.64 in extra fees on the utility bills? We sure think so.
Municipal swimming pools do not make profits. Look at Gunnison Valley’s pool. Because of the draw the pool was making on other city resources, the city had to close the doors, appoint a committee to study the operation in depth and bring in new management.
With a serious volunteer effort, and resourceful ideas from manager Kevin Havey, the city reopened the pool and is now working on adding a splash pad next to it.
If Mt. Pleasant wants an aquatic center that their citizens will value and patronize the way Gunnison Valley does its pool, Mt. Pleasant is going to have to subsidize the operation.
Sure, the new aquatic center could operate during the warmer months only. But then a beautiful building with a heated pool would lay dormant and useless the remainder of the year. Think of all the months when senior citizens could engage in water therapy, high school swim teams could practice, and children could swim and dive to their hearts’ content.
Think of what your $41.64 per year could mean.
We think it’s a contribution worth making, because in making it, you’re making your city a better place.