Aquatic center is investment in community

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Having lived for more than 20 years in this community, I have experienced a community that truly cares about its children and their families. This makes me proud and also motivates me to volunteer for initiatives that promote a healthy community.

For some years our community has needed a new water facility for children and families.

Our City Council members have taken the initiative to fulfill this need. They approved a resolution to hold a levy election Aug. 7 asking the Walla Walla city residents to consider approving a $7.7 million levy to build and maintain a family aquatic center.

Current interest rates are lower than in decades, resulting in a nine-year levy commitment rather than 20 years that will save the taxpayers $2 million.

The Sherwood Trust, the Stubblefield Trust and two anonymous donors have committed to contributing $1 million to the construction of the proposed aquatic center.

These pledges are contingent upon passage of the levy.

In addition $25,000 has already been raised to provide scholarships for needy youngsters. These private-public partnerships are a visible testimony of the deep commitment to this community by many people in our area.

The aquatic center will be built at Veterans Memorial Park using city-owned land and the existing parking. Returning a water facility to this park setting will once again provide a gathering place during the summer months for our children, families and community members of all ages.

In difficult economic times we must prioritize our values. Providing opportunities and safe, healthy places for children and families to enjoy are essential for their health and wellbeing as well as being an investment in a healthy community. Please join me in supporting the aquatic center levy and voting "yes.'

Ellen L. Wolf

Walla Walla

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