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Build swimming pool and we will come say county residents

| August 10, 2005 12:00 AM

To the Editor:

"If you build it, we will come," was the overwhelming sentiment of county residents who have commented recently on the Libby Aquatic Center project. Giving kids something to do to keep them out of trouble, providing a place for exercise for young and young at heart, and aiding economic development were the major reasons given for approving the bond issue.

"I believe the cost of the pool is less than the cost of juvenile delinquency," said one resident. The feeling that Libby does not have enough for young people to do was expressed several times. The vandalism and litter downtown could be mitigated if the youth of the community had other options for filling their idle time. "When I was young, I always wished there was something to do in Libby," said one young mother. "Now I have a three year old and I would love for there to be a place that I could take him for something to do."

Most young people swim in the creeks which can be unsafe and unhealthy, said several respondents. The pool would provide lessons on how to swim which can lead to life-long good exercise habits. The rise in the incidence of obesity, which costs the community more in health care, should be mitigated by encouraging young people to exercise more, commented some. A pool, because it would be a social center, would encourage people to exercise in a fun way, several people felt. Older people, particularly those affected by asbestosis, would be able to exercise in a warm water therapy pool. "With my M.S., I need water therapy," commented one resident. Young and young at heart would both benefit from the pool.

The pool would provide employment both in the construction phase and in its operation, several people said. Lifeguards, swimming instructors, managers would be new jobs for Libby people. Besides employment, it would be an added amenity encouraging businesses to relocate or start up here.

By keeping kids off the streets, helping solve the problem of obesity and aiding economic development, the aquatic center is a win-win for the community respondents felt.

Eileen Carney