The Bandon Pool Committee wants the City to give them acreage of our City Park to develop an Aquatic Center. The site by the library was deemed the most favorable spot. The Pool Committee, as we all know, has been given an anonymous $2.5 million dollar bequest which requires the pool be built in City Park, even though the committee already owns property in the southwest corner near the Park. However, they have come to the realization that they don’t have enough money to set up an Aquatic Center in that area due to the amount of money it would take for infrastructure (road access, utility hook-ups, etc.) So they have recruited the City Council to give them land in City Park. This has opened our eyes to the term “Recreational Immunity." Which simply states, a city would be liable for and responsible for cost of defense as well as any court monetary judgment if someone were injured or die. Have you read about the heart-breaking story of the 5-year-old who drowned at a summer camp at an athletic club pool in Corvallis? That city has also been named in a $56 million dollar lawsuit.
It can also be proven in court that our City is already involved and accountable because of their open support for a pool on City property. They even helped stake out different areas within Bandon City Park and made recommendations which would be best. This is only one concern of putting a pool on city property.
This also opens the question of who will pay for upgrading the roads into the park and other infrastructure needs? All roads into the park will need to be widened with sidewalks added. Who is going to pay for that? The City? Taxpayers? If we have that much money let’s think of what is needed more in our city than a pool. Perhaps gorse removal so our city doesn’t burn up again, or a full-time Fire Department to be prepared for major emergencies, or adequately marked pedestrian crosswalks with flashing lights on Highway 101, or an adequate plan for Highway 101 for our heavy traffic times and citizen safety (other than the “road diet”) or developing Bandon City Park to a more wonderful green space in the heart of our City with paved walkways for seniors and handicapped access, removal of gorse, taking care of the grass areas and playing fields, etc. Bandon City Park is a jewel in the middle of our City. Let’s treat it better. It’s a place we all use that provides us with a place to play, walk, enjoy the outdoors in a calm beautiful, setting.
If the pool fails who will be responsible? Will the City just let it sit vacant? I don’t think it could because of safety issues. If the pool fails, we taxpayers are going to be responsible.
The Aquatic Center needs to be placed somewhere else. I do understand the value of a swimming pool. I grew up swimming. It was a requirement in our school’s Physical Education program. Hmmm ... school. Why do Bandon schools not have a pool or want a pool on their property? Because of the expense. Do research on your own and you will find that many pools (private and city) are having a hard time with funding. I do not write to scare anyone. I want everyone to use their common sense on this matter. Besides, the citizens of Bandon have already voted a pool down.
When you get your City utility bill, please send your ballot back with a “NO” vote on building a pool in Bandon City Park.