Letter: Exercise equipment
Note: The following was addressed to the East Fork Swimming Pool District Board of Trustees and submitted as a letter to the editor.
EDITOR: Re: Mr. Benz’s letter to the editor dated Jan. 26
In Mr. Benz’s letter, he questions the use of dedicated public funds for the purchase of additional exercise equipment for the swim center, as the center would then further compete with private sector businesses which already supply these services.
I agree with Mr. Benz in his principle of the safeguarding of dedicated public funds, but I feel a more important issue is at stake.
The following appeared in the recent issue of the Splash as published by the East Fork Swimming Pool District under the heading “Meet the East Fork Swimming Pool District Board of Trustees.”
Suzanne Stockdale: “Our goals are to maintain the swim center in a like-new condition, provide a safe and enjoyable experience for the public and to be accessible to our entire community.”
Todd Connelly: He’d like to see more residents use the swim center. “I feel it is our responsibility to develop programs that will continue to enhance usage by the community,” said Connelly.
Gary Diederich: “I want to expand the community awareness of the fitness, swimming and recreational value of the swim center Specialized programs and events at the swim center can increase awareness and patronage at the pool. More taxpayers in the community need to be exposed to the benefits of this great facility.”
The bolded portions above indicate the trustees’ desires to increase the usage of the swim center. I hopefully assume their intent is to achieve this by an increase in the number of people using the swim center not through an increase in the use of the facility by existing users.
All the residents of the East Fork Swimming Pool District contribute to the funding of the swim center; therefore, the trustees should give priority to increasing the number of users, not to increasing the usage by existing members.
Per the Splash, the Dolphin Swim Team (not, I assume, to be confused with the Tiger, or high school, swim team) “practice every day after school, and Douglas County School District buses provide transportation for the team members. A route from each school is designated as the swim bus, and team members can ride the bus for one-way transportation.” This is great for those youths, 5 to 18, whose families have the ways and financial means to cover the costs of membership and equipment, along with the expenses involved in going to the various swim meets. Most EFSP District families probably have problems in trying to pay for the expenses in getting their children to the swim center and paying for the minimum in fees, but they are still contributing tax money in support of the swim center.
I feel the residents of the EFSP District would be supportive of a program for those less-privileged kids, which would help in their learning to swim. Douglas County Social Services could qualify individuals in need of such a program and the Douglas County Parks and Recreation Department and Douglas County School District could possibly assist in the transportation needs. Even if the program was only one day a week, it would probably receive more district-wide support than the purchase of the additional fitness equipment.
I feel the potential of saving one life would outweigh any potential gain that might be attained through the purchase of the exercise equipment.
Sanford E. Deyo