A PILOT EDITORIAL - Compare notes on SL pool

Wednesday, January 10, 2001

The Storm Lake City Council is pursuing a goal to build a new pool in Storm Lake to replace an aging and rather boring facility. Plenty of study, public meetings and presumably a public vote stand between this hopeful stage and the turning of the first spade.

Separately, a committee of volunteers is pursuing a new community center for the city, with a proposal that would have a new pool as a major element of the development.

The state CAT fund process, other grants and fundraising work, and obtaining a site will have to be dealt with before the community can dive into such a project.

From the beginning, the community center committee people have said they will work closely with the city on their effort. The city council recently also expressed a willingness to work with the community center group, and perhaps to support a pool project with them - if it were an indoor pool.

With a goal of a nice pool for the community's youth in common, as well as opinions on diversity and public services, it seems like an ideal time for both groups to reach out, and sit down with one another.

Having two separate pool projects, without close cooperation, could make it more difficult to get either done, although a city outdoor project and a community center indoor one need not be competitive or duplicative.

It seems like the right time to get the whole community on the same page about our needs and how to pursue them. (Not to mention how to pay for them!)

A pools brainstorming session could involve a couple of city council representatives, members of the community center committee, parks advisory board members; perhaps school board, Community Ed, White Caps swim club, chamber of commerce and BVU trustee reps too. Let us note again that we do have a local firm that is a design leader in the field of modern community pools, as well. We would like to hear its ideas and advice...

All have a stake in the recreational future of the community, and if all can combine forces behind some comprehensive project or projects, the resulting effort would likely be unstoppable.