Monday, June 21, 2010
Kirkland and Sammamish are lukewarm to a community aquatic center
During joint meetings with Kirkland council on May 28 and Sammamish council on June 8, Redmond floated the idea of creating a new taxing district to fund a community aquatic center. Kirkland staff estimated a new aquatics facility would cost between $42-46.5 million.
According to the Kirkland Reporter: Councilmember Allen said the Redmond pool was "on life support" and that recommended economies of scale between Kirkland and Redmond could pencil out. Redmond City Councilmember Pat Vache' felt that, "Trying to combine parks departments would create all sorts of complications that we are not even thinking about," saying "Cities have different philosophies on how to run their parks." Another issue of combining the city's Parks departments would be existing funding. Mayor Marchione wasn't present at the Kirkland meeting.
According to the Sammamish Review: Council members in Sammamish grappled over the question of why citizens would want to tax themselves for a new facility when they could wait for a neighboring city to build one and go use it. While the Sammamish council said they’d keep the idea in mind as discussions continue, their response was lukewarm. "Read More" for my comments:
COMMENT: So far, it appears Redmond council is all alone in finding funds for a new pool. In the past, providing a pool for Redmond has been highly desirable and a hot issue with the community. It became a campaign issue for Mayor Marchione. Will Mayor Marchione consider using the Redmond Foundation as a funding mechanism? He's a founding Board member. The Foundation was set up to raise private/public funding for the Downtown Central Park. But, the Foundation's mission statement is broad. It is trying to raise funds for the new Redmond Bike Park, so far will little success. The city has donated $50,000 to the Foundation already. Will the city increase their "donations" to the Foundation to fund the pool?
By Bob Yoder
Sources: Redmond Reporter / Sammamish Review