BANDON – Although the mayor and other members of the Bandon City Council have informally voiced support for construction of a swimming pool by other entities, they do not want the city to spend public funds on maintaining or operating a city swimming pool without a vote of the people.
To that end, the Bandon City Council has approved a measure for the Nov. 6 ballot that will require voter approval for any expenditure of public funds for the operation or maintenance of a public or private swimming pool in city limits.
Two Aquatic Center board members were present at the meeting and indicated agreement with the council’s decision.
If the referral measure passes, it will change the Bandon Municipal Code.
However, the city and Urban Renewal Agency would still be able to apply for and provide matching funds for capital and construction grants to help get the swimming pool built.
The resolution, which passed unanimously at Monday night’s regular council meeting, states the mayor and City Council believe it is in the best interests of the city not to risk the possibility of spending public funds for the maintenance and operation of a swimming pool if the responsible private entity were not able to sustain those costs.
Meanwhile, a bequest for the Aquatic Center of $2.5 million has been confirmed. The bequest is contingent on the facility being located in the Bandon City Park. When funds are received they are expected to be kept in reserve for unexpected maintenance or repair costs.
City officials are now working to see if the location contingency can be met. Consideration of siting the pool in City Park is being evaluated as part of an overall review of siting for park activities. This will be a topic of discussion at tonight’s Parks and Recreation Committee at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers of City Hall.
Aquatic Center board members are not daunted by the task of building a swimming pool for South Coast residents, and maintain they have no intention of using public funds for ongoing maintenance and operation.
Instead, those fees will be paid for by users in the form of annual memberships. The board is busy raising money to get the swimming pool built.
Donations for the LOOP Challenge are now being accepted at www.bandonpool.com/Donate. Paypal and debit/credit cards can be used to take part in this special challenge by an Aquatic Center Board member. If the board receives promises or payments of $100,000 in increments of $2,000 or more, the board member will contribute an additional $20,000. That's an immediate 20 percent increase in each donation, board members noted. Statements of Intent to take part in this fundraiser are available at www.bandonpool.com, or call Ann King, 541-347-2534, for the form or more information.
LOOP (Lovers of our Pool) memberships are still available. Supporters can sign up at www.bandonpool.com. Membership numbers will be used as an example of community support when the board submits grant requests, hopefully this year. Membership incurs no obligation. Just sign up with contact information.
A new logo for the Bandon Aquatic Center was recently created by Maureen Erickson, a local Graphics Designer, who volunteered her talents. Approval of the design and the spirit has been unanimous.
Along with a new look, the center will benefit from a new activity – an annual golf scramble at Bandon Crossings Golf Course, held this year on Saturday, Sept. 29. Registration forms are around town (Ace Hardware, Bandon Crossings, Bandon Inn, Bandon Mercantile, Bandon Visitor Center, The Cobbler’s Bench, and South Coast Bicycles). A full event description is at www.bandonpool.com and on Facebook. Call Frank Cronan, 541-350-6247, for more information.
The next Bandon Aquatic Center Board meeting is at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, at the Bandon Public Library, 1204 11th St. SW. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.