New pool is no revenue generator

Letter to the editor

Posted: Sunday, October 02, 2005

David Rogers' My Turn in Tuesday's paper was well written and his support of the valley water park is obviously heart felt. I agree that there is certainly demand for a valley pool, and I know my family would enjoy the facility several times a year. However Mr. Rogers' claim that the pool would be a "revenue machine" is a real stretch.

The proposed new aquatic center is a little larger than Centennial Hall. Assuming that it takes $1 million per year to operate and maintain the facility and the average visit generates $3 in revenue, then the new pool would require 913 visitors every day just to cover expenses and those swimmers are in addition to the current users of Augustus Brown Pool. That volume of traffic is not likely in town of 31,000 people. And considering there is no way to drive into Juneau, our surrounding neighbors will likely not visit more than a once or twice a year due to the high cost of getting to town.

I admit that this aquatic center is a fun idea. But financially it is another facility that will require constant infusions of tax dollars to operate and maintain. So where is the tax money going to come from? Schools? Sewers? Increased property taxes? I cannot vote in favor of this proposal until we have a straight answer. Just like the police station, this project should be turned down until we have a sound plan on how to pay for and maintain the facility and we know exactly what is included in the building. If the valley aquatic center is a good idea then it will be on the ballot again soon after we have these reasonable questions answered.

Bruce Abel


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