A big debate about an item on the ballot is taking place in Boulder City. The community is considering whether to approve up to $40 million this election season to build a new pool facility.
“I like swimming. I’ve been coming here for over 22 years,” said Cheryn Parkis, community swimmer.
Parkis exercises in the public pool at Broadbent Park in Boulder City. The facility is nearly 40 years old, and from leaks in the pool to rusty breaker boxes, it has a lot of issues.
“It needs help. There are a lot of things that are breaking that need to be fixed,” Parkis said.
“It seems like a lot of what we do as far as maintaining this facility is more like a band-aid rather than an upgrade or an improvement,” said Cheree Brennan, the aquatic coordinator.
An anonymous donor recently gifted the city with $1.3 million for the community pool, but that money may go towards the new proposed aquatic and cultural center on the current ballot. The issue has been a dividing topic among voters.
“I would love a new pool,” Parkis reiterated.
However, one resident who did not want to be identified said, “I think the price is ridiculous.”
Voters must consider approving up to $40 million to cover the costs. It’s money that will come from an increase in property taxes.
“I’m willing to pay more in property taxes if we can all have a new facility,” said Jim Burke, a community pool swimmer.
Designs for the new center incorporate competition as well as programming pools along with a kiddie pool outside. The building also includes a fitness center.
“We’re 16,000 people. I don’t think we need all of that,” one person who doesn’t want the new facility said.
If voters approve the proposed aquatic center, plans show it would be built at the park, next to the current pool facility.
“Keep this facility in operation until the facility is built; transfer over after it’s built and knock this facility down and make it into a park,” said Roger Hall, the Boulder City director of parks and recreation.
If voters don’t approve the measures, the city already plans to use the donation towards the upkeep of the pool.
The current community pool is grandfathered in with 1980 building codes. A survey by the city shows more than 70 percent want a new facility, but roughly 55 percent oppose a property tax increase.
Residents will have a chance to decide on Election Day, which is June 11.