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Pool cost, details concern Jefferson County official

August 02, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A Jefferson County Commission member said she is concerned about the cost of a indoor swimming pool being proposed at Sam Michaels Park, which could cost $2 million to $3.5 million.

Jefferson County has a lack of swimming facilities and county residents who responded to a recent survey about parks and recreation facilities in the county said another swimming pool was a priority for them, county officials said.

County officials are considering construction of an indoor pool at Sam Michaels Park, off Job Corps Road north of Charles Town, and are asking county voters if they would support an excess property tax levy to pay for it.

Commission members have agreed to reserve space on the Nov. 7 general election ballot for a possible levy proposal for a pool.

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Commission member Jane Tabb said she realizes there is a lack of swimming facilities in the county, but said she is concerned about the cost of a new pool. Tabb said there are no specifics so far about how the pool will be maintained or operated and the commission is waiting to receive more details about the proposal.

"I think it's a great idea. Everyone wants a pool. I'm just (worried) about the cost ramifications," Tabb said Tuesday.

Commission member Dale Manuel said people have been talking about a new swimming pool in the county for years.

Not only did people who responded to the survey about park needs in the county give strong support for a new pool, but they supported tax increases to pay for it, Manuel said.

"I like the idea," said Manuel, adding that he thinks there will be a "high likelihood" that a levy proposal will appear on the ballot.

A Jefferson County Parks and Recreation pool committee is working on more specifics about the proposal to bring to the commission for study, Manuel said.

The issue is listed as an agenda item for the County Commission's meeting Thursday in Charles Town.

Manuel said county officials are considering building the pool next to a new community center at Sam Michaels Park.

The facility would have a nine-lane pool for competition swimming and a separate pool for other swimming activities, Manuel said.

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