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Pool plan hits rough water in Jefferson County

August 18, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County residents will not get a chance to vote this year on the idea of raising taxes to pay for the construction of an indoor swimming pool at Sam Michaels Park.

Jefferson County officials decided Thursday to scrap the idea of putting a proposed excess property tax levy to build an indoor swimming pool on the November election ballot.

Toni Milbourne of the Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Commission told Jefferson County Commission members that park officials have several reasons to think the timing is not good for the levy.

First, parks and recreation commission members are concerned how a levy might affect a school excess levy that will be on the general election ballot on Nov. 7, Milbourne said.

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School officials are seeking the renewal of an existing school excess levy and still are working out the details of how the money will be used if the levy is passed.

Another reason park officials felt the timing was not right for the pool levy is because there has not been enough preparation for the funding proposal, Milbourne said.

Commission members earlier agreed to reserve space on the Nov. 7 ballot for a possible pool levy, but on Thursday, Commissioner Jim Surkamp made a motion to eliminate the line on the ballot for the possible levy.

The motion passed unanimously.

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

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

Commissioner Jane Tabb said previously she realizes there is a lack of swimming facilities in the county, but said she was concerned about the cost of a new pool.

At the time, Tabb said there were no specifics so far about how the pool will be maintained or operated.

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