Board tables decision on pool property |

Board tables decision on pool property

Lorna McDaniel

The East Fork Swimming Pool District board tabled a decision April 24 to buy two-plus acres of property directly west of the swim center because of the need for more information of the public’s needs and value of the property.

According to the assessment by John McNeely & Associates of Reno (hired on contract by the pool), the property is valued at $2.87 per square foot, bringing the total purchase offer by the pool to $250,000.

Developer Greg Painter asked the board for 63 cents more per square foot saying that he and his partner Pat Fagen thought the land to be worth more, especially after it is taken out of the flood zone.

The application for the land upgrade by the Federal Emergency Management Assistance agency was filed nine months ago by R.O. Anderson Engineering.

Painter said the application will be considered based on the past history of flooding on the property.

Steve Balkenbush, the pool’s attorney, said he thought the McNeely appraisal fair.

He said because of the unusual zoning of the property – being private recreation – more than the required properties were surveyed to come up with the price.

“It was a tough appraisal,” he said, “but I think the methodology was good.”

He added, the pool as a public entity, “can’t spend a penny more (than the appraisal) to protect the public’s money.”

Board president Suzy Stockdale said purchasing the property would give the pool the option for expansion of the facility with another pool.

“Without that property, that option goes away,” she said.

Painter said he didn’t know of any other buyers of the two acres at this time.

Fagen said his original plan was to build a health club, but he was required to buy the excess property as part of zoning and lot size requirements of the county.

He brought in Painter to help him develop or sell the extra property.

The partners plan to build RiverBend Recreation Village next to the pool, which will include a 1,300 square-foot health club and physical therapist center with the possibly of a 16- to 24-lane bowling center and a movie theater.

Stockdale said she thought the potential district’s purchase could be considered an investment if the board decided not to expand the existing site and build another pool elsewhere in the county.

Trustee Garry denHeyer said he would eventually like to see a pool built in the Gardnerville Ranchos where the majority of the county’s population lives, but because of the existing facility, it might be cheaper and easier to build a new pool on sight.

Betty Ziegler, who has been coming to the pool for four years, said she didn’t mind the 10-minute drive from her Gardnerville Ranchos home, but thought the property for sale could be used for a new outside toddler pool.

“Watching mothers holding the hands of these toddlers (in the pool) – one of these days we are going to lose one of them,” she said.

Jim Keegan, a retired resident of Douglas County and president of the swim team, suggested the pool complete the survey that Stockdale spoke of during the meeting to find out the taxing district’s need for a new pool and its location.

During public comment, Bob Hupe, a Minden resident, expressed concern over a recently published opinion that the pool district be taken over by the county recreation department.

“If (county) recreation takes over this center, it will become a cesspool before long,” he said, referring to recent budget cuts.

His comments drew applause from about 20 people, mainly seniors, attending the meeting.

Stockdale said that even though a county takeover was just an opinion, she encouraged supporters of the pool district to write letters to the commission opposing the idea.

The pool district, created by majority vote in November 1958, was under the direction of county parks and recreation from 1977 to 1986.

After the commission reactivated the district, the $3 million Carson Valley Swim Center was built and opened in April 1989.

The pool is funded by an ad valorem tax and user fees.

The pool board will adopt the tentative and final budget at its next meeting 8 a.m. May 15 in the multipurpose room of the swim center.