The following are comments e-mailed or taken via telephone regarding my last editorial about the pool which appeared in the Nov. 18 issue.
There's some great responses here. Please read them and consider them carefully. Don't discard them if they disagree with your position on the pool. This is a dialogue on building a pool. I think it's all positive.
Here it goes:
I voted no on the pool issue because the project was far too large.
It was like building the Hippodrome and bringing back Esther Williams!
How can you expect the area to contribute money to a swimming pool project when the same area in question can't even clean up its image? You want a multi million dollar swimming pool and the people in this area can't even keep their neighborhoods clean. Can you imagine what a lot of the people who utilized the pool would do to the pool, if they don't even respect their own property? Why would you think they would take care of the tax payer's pool? I could just see the parking lot of the pool in two years with all the decaying cars and junk piled throughout the area. One of the most beautiful swimming areas exists on the Koocanusa and we should get with the Corps of engineers and expand the docks at a fraction of the cost. Just a thought. Why not send out a ballot to the same taxpayers and ask them if we should increase their taxes so we could hire a code enforcement officer that will actually enforce the laws to clean up the area. This town is an embarrassment for out of town guests. Most will travel a few more miles and go to Kalispell instead of spending their dollars in this town. A pool in this area? I don't think so, to many other problems in this town to consider before we can cool off in a pool.
Maybe I am at times half-empty, an old fart and a naysayer, but I don't think any of those names pertain to me concerning the pool vote.
Do you honestly think an aquatic center will attract people to Libby? Maybe more jobs with a higher minimum wage or more competition in the way of shopping or just showing outsiders a community with love and concern for one another (instead of the bickering back and forth) might do more good than building expensive structures that will benefit some but not all people.
My husband and I are retired and although we don't contribute a fortune to Libby in the way of revenue we do pay taxes and the last time I heard we were entitled to our opinion and should not be raked over the coals in the papers editorial because we didn't vote the way the editor wanted. If the vote had been yes, we would pay the extra taxes and keep on keepin' on!!
I have to reiterate! A swimming pool will not make Libby grow!
I voted for the pool but not the tax. It was a way of saying I believe we need a sales tax to take the burden off of the land and home owners. I heard that our taxes are higher than in Kalispell. Is that true? I don't know, but some I know believe that and won't vote for any tax raises on property owners.
We need a sales tax, and Montanans who are against that are living in the past. They need to get their heads out of the sand and wake up, especially if they own a home or property.
Libby does not need a full blown aquatic center. What this town needs is a city pool for the kids to swim in during the summer months. We are the only town on the entire Hi-Line that I know of that does not have a simple city pool for kids of all ages to enjoy but we do not need a 2 million dollar facility. The statement that membership fees would cover maintenance of this facility is a lark. You know damn well that in a couple years (if that long) the city would be coming to the taxpayers again saying they didn't have enough revenue generated from member dues to maintain the facility so now we need to raise taxes or mills or whatever you want to call it to keep the facility from closing its doors. The supporters of this aquatic center wanted too much and for one am not willing to pay another $200 or so in taxes for a select few individuals to be able to use the facility — those folks with the time and the interest in swimming.
I say put up a measure proposing to build a simple city pool and it would pass but not a 2 million dollar project! Make it reasonable and the majority would support it!
Change is happening here, and the communities are taking an active role in the shaping their future by voting no on the pool. Whether or not we have a pool, Libby is going to area. I seem to remember a study done in the Missoula area in the 90's (?) that pointed out that the cost of services to the new people/subdivisions to the area pretty much came out of the pockets of the people already living there. Hate to be a scrooge but I don't feel like paying for a pool for someone else to use, nor do I wish to pay for more streets, police, fire etc.
We moved here to get out of the rat race that is Kennewick. Nobody knows your name, you go shopping and see nothing but strangers. There was a gang fight inside WalMart about the time we left. New streets appear as if by magic almost daily, and traffic jambs and road rage are everyday things.
If by voting "no" on the pool, I slowed down the pace of life here, kept a few people and companies from moving in, and saved my self a few bucks in the process, I did the right thing. I voted "no" to the rat race.
By the way,, there was a pool in Kennewick. Neither my wife or I ever used it. The girls may have, they are not here to ask.
Thanks for listening!
I think Libby needs a pool and would be a great asset to the whole area. But we don't need an elaborate thing like that which was proposed. We need a indoor, 6-lane, maximum depth 5-foot, 25-yard heated pool. A small therapy pool would be nice, also.
If you go over 5-feet, the insurance cost goes up dramatically. If the place is managed right, it would almost pay for itself. With family monthly rates, lessons, classes, etc.
The private facilities in the surrounding area are in business, and they are not losing money. And their rates are not too expensive.
When the racquet and swim club was in business back in the 60's and early 70's there were almost 300 families members paying dues. There was also many other activities that brought in revenue.
A basic facility and managed properly would not cost that much and pay for itself.
The City of Whitefish put in a covered pool for a fraction of the cost proposed here. Maybe somebody should talk to them.
I think there is a better way to go but we still need a pool.
This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for a lot of things but I have to mention being thankful to live in a community that participates in the elective process and then is willing to discuss it civilly, regardless how they voted. It doesn't get any better than that. Keep those e-mails and letters coming. — Roger Morris