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Commissioner says try the pool

by Kelly Kite

Occasionally, I am asked for information concerning the pool district. Most of the questions concern how the pool district was funded, who decided that it should be built and, “Why do I have to pay for something I’m not using?”

Most of these questions, or at least a lot of them, come from the Lake Tahoe area.

One easy answer is that the residents of the Lake Tahoe Basin do not pay anything for building or maintenance of the swim center. All tax money for the center comes from its own taxing district. This special taxing district was voter-approved in the 1986 primary election. It is a special general improvement district, specifically a “318 district.” The taxing issue passed by a 57.7 percent margin and covers only the East Fork Township.

This district has two funds with which to operate. One is for debt incurred in the construction of the facility. This debt will be paid in 2006. The second fund is for ongoing maintenance of the facility and will continue for as long as the district remains in operation.

The debt payment assessment for the 1998-1999 budget was .0256. The 1999-2000 budget has a decrease to .01575 as a result of that debt being paid down. Tax assessment on the maintenance fund for the 1997-1998 budget year was .1255. The 1998-1999 tax year saw a tax drop to .0514. This decrease came about for two reasons: 1) from public pressure; and 2) from just good, old better management. The current budget reflects a slight increase over the last year to .0595. We never like to see a tax increase, but it is still less than the original cost.

Anyone who uses the special pool set aside for seniors and all those who use the therapy pool can immediately see the need for such a facility. Ask any of the youths who take part in swimming activities at the pool – they will tell you just how important the facility is to them.

If you are asking yourself, “Why am I paying for something I don’t use?” – why don’t you give the swim center a try? I am sure the employees of the swim center will make your feel welcome, and the board of directors you elected will appreciate an opportunity to show off their facility.

n Kelly Kite is Douglas County Commissioner from District No. 5.