DAYTON - Voters will determine the feasibility of pursuing the building of a tax supported pool.
Lyon County Commissioner Bob Milz told residents Tuesday evening that he would put an advisory question on the November 2000 ballot asking voters if they want commissioners to pursue the establishment of a special tax assessment district to fund the building and maintenance of a local swimming facility.
About 20 residents attended the meeting to discuss the various possibilities regarding location, size, type and costs of such a project. The group was evenly divided in their desire for a ballot question.
Milz stressed the ballot question would give direction to the commissioners and they would proceed only if it passed.
Discussion centered on the size and type of facility the community could afford and how it would be funded. Most agreed the project would have to be taxpayer supported to succeed, but disagreed on projected costs and their desire to pay the needed taxes.
Carol Frazier, former chairwoman of the now disbanded "Where's the Pool" committee, said the use of donations from contractors and volunteer labor could keep costs well below architect John Copoulas' estimates of at least $850,000 and up to $2.2 million for an outdoor pool/locker room facility.
"We have to be realistic and start small," Fraizer said. "Estimated construction for our proposal (outdoor pool with locker room facilities and disability access) was $300,000. This pool could pay for itself."
No tax dollars were figured in to the "Where's the Pool" committee's proposal. Supporters of the now defunct plan opposed putting the advisory question on the ballot, fearing costs of the project would be out of taxpayer control.
Serving on the Mason Valley Pool Board for 14 years, Yerington resident Judy Davis expressed doubt on the merits of depending on donated labor.
"I don't want to sound negative, but I want to impress upon you the costs of operating a pool," said Davis. "Don't think you can make it counting on volunteer efforts."
Davis said the Yerington pool brings in about $11,000 in revenue during its 3 1/2 month season, with most going toward maintaining the facility. Mason Valley residents pay 14 cents per $100 assessed valuation to support the pool, generating $130,000 per year.
Dayton resident and parent Sally Elloyan said, "A volunteer organization can't support this. There is no reason why it shouldn't be taxpayer funded. If we want to be a first-class community, we need to have first-class facilities for residents."
Elloyan said she and others would work to put the issue on the ballot as many times as it would take to get it passed.
Resident Bud Southard disagreed with asking taxpayers to foot the bill.
"If you want something, look for a way of paying for it yourself," he said. "Asking someone else to pay for it is not the American way."
Suggested locations for the facility include Bureau of Land Management property between the Senior Center and Como Park on Old Dayton Valley Road, school district land and the new Mark Twain Park east of Dayton. Copoulos estimated that about two acres would be needed for a pool.
While the Old Dayton Valley Road site appeared to be most acceptable, Central Lyon County Park Director Janette Hoffert said it's not a perfect location.
"We have growth on both sides of the river," she said. "There will always be a transportation problem."