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Should the City Reopen Magnolia Pool?

Rohnert Park is facing a $950,000 deficit come summer, but some say shelling out $22,000 for a community pool is a worthwhile investment...even for a cash-strapped city

 

Should the city reopen Magnolia Pool this summer?

The pool is one of three run by Rohnert Park, but was closed last year because of budget cuts.

Now some have suggested reopening the “M Pool”, to give residents of the neighborhood a place to seek relief from the summer heat.

But with Rohnert Park facing nearly a $1 million budget deficit by the start of summer, is it something the city can even afford?

Opinions among city council are mixed.

Jake Mackenzie and Mayor Pam Stafford say the city can’t afford the $22,000 it would cost to operate Magnolia for the season. Plus, the attendance at Magnolia has historically been lower than at other pools and “not something that inspires confidence,” according to Mackenzie.

But Councilmembers Amy Ahanotu and Joe Callinan said $22,000 is a small price to pay to provide a service for local families.

“We should have our amenities up and running; that’s what economic development means,” said Callinan at Tuesday’s council meeting. “It’s a great investment for us, considering the citizens are giving us $2.6 million a year in Measure E money.”

With opinions evenly split and Councilwoman Gina Belforte absent, the council will vote on the issue in April.

What do you think? Should the city spend $22,000 to reopen the Magnolia pool?

Tom February 28, 2013 at 12:28 AM
If Amy and Joe want to fund it out of their pockets, I'm fine with that. If the city needs to use our tax dollars that they don't have.....the answer is NO! That's why we are in the mess we are in....stop spending money we don't have! And to Mr. Callinan....We did not give you 2.6 million a year to waste...remember that."Measure E creates a temporary, guaranteed source of local funding for essential city services that cannot be taken by Sacramento." Just my thoughts...that's all.
Jane Weill February 28, 2013 at 06:51 PM
I live in the M section and am at the park almost every day with my son and his friends. I am tired of trying to explain why they can’t use it when I don’t understand it myself. I was also at the meeting on Tuesday and both Pam and Jake agreed that they never wanted that pool to be built in the first place. I want to tell them the same thing I tell the kids when they pout about not getting what they want, ‘let it go and move on.’ The M pool is there now, it’s not going away and it is what we have. So let’s make the best use of it. We do not need to have another pool across the street just on the other side of Bodway. We have a pool that we have been maintaining in a ready to open status at a cost of about $15,000 a year. Last year it would have cost only $8,000 to reopen the pool, now that cost is up to $22,000. The M pool is only 12 years old.
Thomas Fonseca March 01, 2013 at 01:10 AM
One of the factors that helped us to decide to move in here was that pool. Now that there are less pools in RP (only one now) of course there will be more people wanting to swim at M pool. There are still kids in living in Rohnert Park and it would be nice for them to have a healthy activity choice in their city instead of having to drive to Santa Rosa to swim. The city council needs to remember that they work for us - and we should have a say where some of our tax dollars go. We aren't asking for much, in fact a lot less than the $8 million dollar city hall they are sitting in. Amy and Joe, you have my vote next election time! Thank you for thinking of us.
Julie March 01, 2013 at 01:25 AM
Measure E which passed and promised pools would not be closed is to fund the $22k. You mean to tell me the money from measure E is not being used for what it's suppose to be used for? Many of us voted because of the parks and its amenities. Open the Pool in M section. I agree with Jane.
glen osborne May 05, 2013 at 12:19 AM
The pool is necessary for the health of the public. Ask any lap swimmer how there life is affected by this valuable excercise. I am just 1 swimmer and i have spent over 270.00 this year alone on my local pool fees. This pool is a valuable asset and it is very dissapointing to see this resource goimg to waste from non use.

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