Archive for Thursday, August 14, 2003

Opposition to pool bond not just black, white issue

August 14, 2003

Editor's note: Last week's Eudora News looked at arguments for a new pool.
Eudora resident Shannon Cook isn't against building a new pool, it's just that she doesn't think now is the right time. Fellow Eudoran Leonard Hollmann said he didn't think a new pool should go in the old facility's location. Likewise, Kennetta Slavin doesn't mind spending money -- maybe not $2.5 million worth -- but she thinks there are more deserving projects on the city's plate.
For some Eudorans, the opposition to a pool bond, which will be voted on again Aug. 26, isn't an all-out dislike for building a new pool. Rather, some take issue with the finer points surrounding the pool bond.
"Everybody wants a pool, but I don't understand why we feel all of a sudden Eudora can afford a multi-million dollar pool and a multi-million dollar school," Cook said.
The bond on the new high school and the current economic climate made now an unfavorable time to build a new pool, she said.
"If you can't already afford the taxes you're paying, you can't afford $53 more a year," she said.
Cook, who frequented the pool with her children earlier this summer, took issue with the maintenance of the current facility but said she didn't think the pool was too small for the crowd it attracted.
Moreover, she said, an increased sales tax to pay for the pool would be detrimental to Eudora, which is trying to attract and retain customers at its businesses.
"It seems like we're shooting ourselves in the foot," she said. "We're trying to get people to do business here, but in turn the businesses have to hike up their prices. That's not how you keep people locally."
And locally, Slavin said, there were a lot of other municipal projects vying for attention. Like adding trash cans or other amenities to the city's parks or improving downtown -- things that would bring people to Eudora.
"(I'm for) spending money on some things that would attract people, but not that much money."
Slavin said the tax burden would be too great, even though she conceded the pool needed improvements.
"It seems like we've done other things to the pool that weren't sufficient," she said. "It was kind of like a haphazard thing. Now everybody is really involved in getting this fancy pool in."
Part of the lure of a new pool, designers and city leaders hope, is that features like a vortex pool -- an area with swirling, comforting water -- would appeal to adults, including senior citizens. But Slavin said that wouldn't be a selling point for her.
"I really wouldn't use it all," she said. "I don't like being out in the sun that much. I'm kind of cautious of the heat."
Hollmann has no illusions that Eudora needs a new pool, but he wonders why it would go in the location of the current pool, near 15th and Elm streets. For starters, he said, the pool -- which attracts pedestrian traffic -- is located near the busy intersection of Church Street and Kansas Highway 10. And with upgrades and widening of Church Street likely in Eudora's future, it could only get worse.
"You've got all those kids crossing the road all the time," Hollmann said.
Although Hollmann said he wasn't sure what land the city owned or what other locations would work, he suggested an area near subdivisions, such as near the housing along Winchester Road, or perhaps near the schools in the southern part of Eudora.
Regardless, he said care should be taken when considering location.
"I don't dispute that we need a new pool," he said. "If they're going to spend a million on the new pool, it's going to be around 20 or 30 years, you hope."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.