For some in attendance Tuesday the city commission meeting was frustrating, even disheartening. That is very understandable.
Everyone has known, for quite some time, that the pool is in dire need of help. Equipment has worn out and needs to be replaced. Some of that equipment needs replacing immediately. Not taking care of that could mean not opening the pool next year.
Tuesday the commission could not reach a decision to move forward with a proposed $1.7 million plan that would not only replace worn out equipment, but give the pool a makeover and new features as well. This would be those amenities that commissioners claim we need.
For those who have been working on this for a while, Tuesday was hard. Seeing the commission postponed a decision — and in turn place more pressure on themselves to act quickly — was disappointing. There was a plan created, the culmination of about a year of work. A survey of the community, while not scientific, suggested moving forward with this plan.
However, the commission did something smart by not moving forward. There is one very large unanswered question that needs to be answered — who will pay the bill. City staff has a plan that the city and recreation commission would pay for the first five or so years on a bond issued for the work. After that, the public building commission will take on those payments.
However, the agreement that created the PBC is about to expire. While it is likely that the city, school board and rec commission will re-up that agreement, that has not been done. Also an issue is if each of the three would slightly increase financial contributions to the PBC.
That question needs to be answered. Honestly, it should have already been answered. We've known about the pool for a while, and the expiration of the PBC is not new news. The actions we are seeing now should have been done months ago. They were not.
Something will have to be done, and money spent, on the pool in very short order to ensure operation for next year. That is known. What isn't known is what that something will be.
— Kansan Editorial Board