beckybkennedy 3 months, 3 weeks ago on Letter - Walla Walla designed proposed pool

She was referring to the original design in the 70s. It was a poor design and in 2006 they had to finally make the smart decision that it was beyond repair. They are doing it the right way this time. namevet60, it seems you have no faith in the elected City government and there is nothing we can do about that. There is no perfect plan, but this one is well thought out with volunteers beyond your government. We have tried our best to help and be a part of the process and will continue to be involved. Do you have any constructive input as to how this plan can be best executed should the bond pass? Your feedback, if constructive, is welcome.

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beckybkennedy 3 months, 4 weeks ago on Letter - Send the current pool bond packing

Rosey, The Rebuild Memorial Pool Committee is a grassroots committee made up of a wide variety of people that have raised money through hard work and good relationships from people all over the community. Thus far we have raised $5,865.37 with most donations $50 or less. We have kept our expenses to a minimum and worked with free tools as much as possible. Our most expensive item has been the yard signs, which were $1,601.38. Other expenses include posters, rack cards, voter lists, and the UB sticker, which was $870. Unfortunately these things are very expensive. Everything we are doing is being filed with the PDC and is publicly available. We are transparent and have nothing to hide. Note that this is significantly less than most campaigns raise/spend and anything we do not spend will go to scholarships for City aquatics programs. As far as fundraising, while Walla Walla does have wealth, there is not enough to build a pool. We investigated the options and with only a handful of local foundations and just a few large corporations along with a small number of aquatics/fitness grants nationally, there is not enough. However, we hope to fund raise after the bond passes to possibly reduce the cost or fill in any gaps.

For two years we have worked as volunteers to find the best possible solution for Walla Walla including significant research and information gathering from the public, other aquatic facilities, experts in the field, etc. We are happy to share as much information as you want and it is available our website memorialpool.org and the fliers you have seen around town. Again, there is no funny business - we are honest people who are happy to answer any questions we can. The City of Walla Walla has also been very honest throughout this process.

If you do not want to pay more taxes, that is understandable and that is your prerogative. However, it is unfortunate that you feel you have to disparage a group of hardworking volunteers to communicate your feelings.

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beckybkennedy 4 months, 1 week ago on Letter - Tired of being taxed?

I am sorry to ask, but can you tell me your specific questions that remain unanswered and I will make sure to get an accurate response to you? I want to make sure I answer the right things. Thank you.

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beckybkennedy 4 months, 2 weeks ago on Letter - Tired of being taxed?

Thank you namvet60. I appreciate that you are not afraid to share your opinions. Dialogue makes our community better. I also know that differing opinions mean that not everyone will vote the same way. Each election day I encourage my friends and neighbors to vote no matter how they vote.

With regards to your comments on this site, I often find them personally offensive and attacking. It is not necessarily one comment, but typically a barrage of comments with little jabs in each that add up to be less questioning and more accusatory. My comment yesterday was born out of extreme frustration and not how I normally interact with others. I do apologize if I was offensive and attacking. I hope the active dialogue continues on the UB site, but with less of a negative tone to keep things civil which will in turn foster better communication. Thank you.

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beckybkennedy 4 months, 2 weeks ago on Letter - Tired of being taxed?

PearlY, do you get involved with the groups working to improve this community? The Rebuild Memorial Pool committee has been working for nearly 2 years to come up with the best possible solution. We have welcomed anyone to participate and thus the group is well-rounded from every political and social viewpoint. We agree that you have to compromise and that is what this plan represents. A balance between wants, needs, and overall what is fiscally and socially responsible for this community.

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beckybkennedy 4 months, 2 weeks ago on Letter - Tired of being taxed?

At this point staff is estimating that pool operations will need to be subsidized an estimated amount of $100,000 per year. In other words expenses will be $100,000 over revenues. The first three years may be less because there is pent up demand but in future years it may be more. It is absolutely impossible to give you any exact numbers because we really don’t know the actual amount of surface water we will have except for the 50 meter X 25 yard. The 0-depth pool is probably not the configuration that is on paper from Rowley. I have done proforma’s on all other proposed projects and we have ones that include a 50 m x 25 yd pool but we actually had pretty good advanced conceptual designs for all prior attempts. Additionally, we know what the old pool was subsidized including facility attendants (cashers). We also do not know the size of the new bathhouse – there is an allowance of $1.2 million based on 6,000 sq ft in the budget. Until we get into design we will not know exact numbers. More than likely the operation will be from 9 am to 6 pm with rentals in the evening. Number of operational days will and around 90 to 100 days depending on Memorial Day to Labor Day and/or staffing capabilities. Often our staff are college students so staffing levels can be somewhat difficult based on when they have to go back to school. My point is all the information we have is an estimate (as it states in the Rowley report) from a professional pool engineer. To hire a consultant to design it before we go to a vote would be very expensive and not in the cards at this time.

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beckybkennedy 4 months, 2 weeks ago on Letter - Tired of being taxed?

Are you planning a on a levy to fund the maintenance and operations of the new pools? Interest is included in the annual estimated cost of the bond payments to borrow $5.83 million. Our financial bond consultant estimates an interest rate based on the trends of the market so interest is included in what the cost of borrowing $5.83 million over 20 years. The total cost everyone pays is a factor of city wide assessed value, bond interest rate, bond premiums, etc.; and the likely change in the average home value. Bonds will be sold if the ballot measure is approved. When the bonds are sold the interest rate is included so there is no cost to the operation figures. Right now it is our best estimate.

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beckybkennedy 4 months, 2 weeks ago on Letter - Tired of being taxed?

namvet60, we continue to update the website and I appreciate that it can still be improved. It is not for lack of effort or information, rather time to be responsive. By the way, we ask for volunteers because we are a small group of dedicated volunteers and we have limits for what we can do (for free) for our community. We all have jobs and families and other responsibilities. Do you do anything for your community other than gripe on the UB site? I hope so. See below for some responses to your questions.

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beckybkennedy 4 months, 2 weeks ago on Letter - Tired of being taxed?

Now is the time to build a pool in Walla Walla and this is the right plan! There is no fiscally responsible plan that is less expensive. Our community deserves a pool. For more information go to memorialpool.org. I hope everyone votes too!

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beckybkennedy 5 months, 1 week ago on Council to vote on pool bond Wednesday

Baraccuda, Yes, the bond is just for WW City Residents. Yes, those that are not city residents will have to pay a higher user fee (the user fees are to be determined, but likely will be similar to those of Milton-Freewater and Pendleton). I believe the City is considering asking the College Place City Council to see if they would like to pay a proportional amount of the construction and related costs to allow their citizens to swim at the same rate as Walla Walla city residents. The County is an issue because it is large and some areas either already have their own pool or live closer to the Tri-Cities and other pools, so it is unlikely the county has any interest. During 4th of July in the Park I personally asked those running for County Commissioner about their interest in the pool and they all said it was a city issue and they were not interested.

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