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Back You are here: Home Opinion Opinion Section Letters to the Editor Aquatics Committee: Addressing concerns with pool proposal

Aquatics Committee: Addressing concerns with pool proposal

Fellow Citizens,
The Aquatics Committee appreciates the large crowd of supporters that came out to the April Carolina Beach Town Council Meeting. After our thorough review, we have not changed our opinion that the pool is a very low risk and very feasible endeavor for the Town. That being said, we would like to address some common concerns, including:
Parking:
Many citizens have asked about the availability of adequate parking onsite. Catlin Engineering reviewed our site and developed a parking plan within the Town footprint that provides sufficient parking as required by Town Ordinance. Once the pool is built, it will require a total of 225 parking spaces. There are currently 211 spaces, but 27 will be taken to construct the pool leaving a total shortfall of 41. Catlin was able to find enough room to add more than the 41 spaces required leaving us with adequate parking.
Survey Accuracy:
Some have questioned the accuracy of our water bill survey that resulted in 55% being in favor and 45% against the pool. We used the formula for a statistically accurate sample size and determined that we have enough survey responses for an accurate sampling size to feel confident in our 55/45 result.
We would also like to point out that according to USS Swimming, most communities only have a favorable rating of 30% - we beat the industry average by 25%. Statistically speaking, the majority of the community is in favor or the pool.
"Marketing Video”
Some have claimed that the results of our feasibility study were presented in a video that was purely a marketing effort. The committee was asked to respect the time allocated at the Town Council meeting and a member of Council suggested that we make a concise video summarizing our recommendations and feedback from the community. Since everyone who came to our months of weekly pool committee meetings were in favor of the pool, it never occurred to us to provide testimonials from those against the project. It was not our intent to mislead anyone and if we could do it all over again, we would have liked to have included testimonials from citizens who have arguments against building the pool.
However, the facts as presented in the first part of the video are the result of over 16 weeks of a very thorough and detailed analysis.
The numbers have been reviewed many times, and our financial scenarios as presented are a good faith representation of the committee's best understanding of the most likely, conservative results. Committee members sat through countless meetings reviewing numbers from other swimming pool facilities, calculating labor cost estimates, calculating programming revenue, estimating ongoing capital improvements, meeting with pool companies to determine chemical and maintenance costs, developing fair, but adequate membership rates, etc. Members of our committee are quick to point out issues with the project and have been very fair in their objective observations of pros and cons.
Availability/Access to Data
Although all of our weekly meetings have been made public record and the committee has willingly shared any data requested of the committee, we have been criticized for not having those records more widely available.
The Parks and Rec department will be adding a new link to the Town website and we will start posting all of the results of our analysis and documents pertaining to the design development phase (and any new deliverables as they are created).
We have always operated under the full view and scrutiny of the public and we enthusiastically invite anyone who would like to attend our weekly meetings to please participate. You can be for or against the project - we appreciate all points of view.
We are extremely pleased that Town Council took action to continue to move the project along while still staying cautious as they analyze the budget. The feedback from the community has been extremely helpful in ensuring that we continue to tighten our numbers and accurately reflect the overall wants and needs of the community. The community gets kudos from us for providing a variety of perspectives to factor into our recommendations.
Also, Mayor Lewis posted a Facebook request for additional feedback from the community. Here is a link to his page:
https://www.facebook.com/#!/bob.lewis.31924?fref=ts
Regards,
Carolina Beach Aquatics Committee