Archive for Thursday, January 30, 2003


January 30, 2003

Test the waters first
The Eudora city council wants us to take a headfirst dive into the shallow end of an already dangerous pool proposal.
The council will soon ask Eudora residents to support a $2.6 million plan to replace the city's existing public pool with a miniature water theme park, complete with slides and meeting areas.
Unfortunately, this lavish facility will fail to provide any substantial improvement to the city. By providing citizens with a sexy project, council members hope to divert our attention from the growing list of projects that require immediate attention and could bring real value to current and prospective Eudora residents.
As the city council continues to consider excessive amenities for the pool, long-neglected projects continue to deteriorate further. Winchester Road has gone from rough to ridiculous, and other streets throughout the city continue to hinder expansion.
Now, just as the pool issue is nearing fruition, the council is faced with the opportunity to assume control of the current Eudora Middle School building.
This building would provide recreational facilities, technology laboratories, a senior center and other uses for the Eudora community.
But these services would come at a cost. Early estimates predict that the center would cost the city approximately $3 million to upgrade before use.
The city council is debating whether to make all of the improvements at once or to space them out over a series of years -- or even whether to make use of the facility at all.
Such a debate is absurd. This facility would bring great value to the city and should be embraced rather than eyed with skepticism. Fittingly, the price tag on this project is nearly identical to the price of a new pool.
So, rather than saying, "Wouldn't a new pool be nice?" it is time for us to make a choice.
We have a great opportunity as a city: to continue to create the type of community that allows us to attract residents over our neighboring towns, or to try to compete with them by spending perverse sums of money on eye-catching accessories.
A new pool will cost residents with a home appraised at $100,000 more than $100 per year for 15 years. The fact is, a new pool is not worth $1,600 -- especially with such attractive alternatives being ignored.
Luckily, we will have a choice as to whether we want to throw our money away on such a project. In April, we will have a chance to vote on the pool proposal.
How you vote is your choice. Either continue to think, "Wouldn't a new pool be nice," or else take a long, hard look at where your money is going. Perhaps you, too, will realize there are better ways to spend our money and improve our city.
In April, my vote will be an emphatic "no." Your vote is your choice, but be cautious. Look before you leap.
Joseph Hurla

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