Community needs water park facility

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It has been said that the true measure of a community's character is how it cares and provides for its elderly, children and those who can't care for themselves.

I think our community, for the most part, has done that but we could and should improve on providing a place where our families and young people can safely play in the water.

Years ago we had Memorial pool, Graybeal's pool, Pioneer Park pool, Jefferson Park pool, Menlo Park wading pool and the very popular Natatorium pool.

The Natatorium pool had a toadstool in the pool (great for playing "King of the Mountain"), a water slide and diving boards.

Our population has gone up and with only Jefferson Park pool operational our aquatic capacity for our families and young people has gone down. In the past several years, I have heard from local business owners that when they try to recruit new employees to our community that one of the first things they inquire about is recreational activities that are available for their families.

I know some insist we need an area for competitive swimmers but the fact is that this group is a very small percentage of those who would use the facility so financially it doesn't justify the added expense.

We need a place for our young people, families and visitors in our community to go to play in the water.

I am known to be quite conservative and don't like taxes any more than anyone else but there is at least $1million pledged from the private sector, and the financial plan I have reviewed shows this facility to be sustainable into the future without the need for additional taxes after the initial investment.

Some people have asked why this facility isn't being totally funded by the private sector.

The answer is, it's sustainable -- not profitable. A business person in the private sector would expect and require a financial return on their investment.

I urge the citizens of Walla Walla to invest in our youth and families by voting in favor of a new water park facility.

Gregg C. Loney
Walla Walla

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