Nov. 12, 2013 • City council approves pool JPA

The possibility of a new community swimming pool coming to Susanville is a little bit closer.

It was standing room only as the Susanville City Council discussed a joint powers agreement that would create an entity that seek to build a pool in Susanville.

By a 3-2 vote the Susanville City Council adopted a joint powers agreement to form the Honey Lake Valley Recreation Authority and directed staff to include up to $200,000 in funding for the project in its mid-year budget at its Wednesday, Nov. 6 meeting.

Councilmembers Brian Wilson, Nicholas McBride and Mayor Rod De Boer voted yes and councilmembers Lino Callegari and Cheryl McDonald voted no.

Local residents packed the council chambers, and many voiced their support for the project.

City Administrator Jared Hancock said the council approval would “get us to the starting line.”

The Lassen County Board of Supervisors, the other partner in the authority, will consider approval of the JPA at its meeting today, Tuesday, Nov. 12.

The new authority would be comprised of two representatives from the Susanville City Council, two representatives from the Lassen County Board of Supervisors and an appointed independent fifth member. The funding from the city and the county would provide the money for authority to begin the process of deciding how to move the pool project forward.

Callegari continued to oppose the JPA, and he argued the old Roosevelt Pool was closed for “safety reasons” and could be refurbished at a much lower cost than what it will take to build a new pool.

According to Callegari, there is no reason the old Roosevelt Pool facility cannot be repaired. The facility is owned by the Susanville School District.

“We have a pool,” Callegari said. “Rumor is what closed the old pool.”

The councilmember said he had an obligation to treat the public’s money as he would treat his own money, and the city should not try to fund a project it cannot afford.

“Tell me how you’re going to pay, and I’ll vote for it,” he said. “I say you’ve got a pool. Work on that pool.”

McDonald said she opposed approving the JPA due to the cost.

Wilson said the new authority would consider possible repairs to Roosevelt Pool as one alternative.

McBride criticized Callegari’s position, and read the councilmember’s statement from the Jan. 19, 2005 city council minutes.

According to those minutes, “Councilmember Callegari also agreed that a new pool is needed and the community must move away from the old Roosevelt Pool whose day has come and gone. The beams are shot and the steel is nothing more than texture.”

According to a Jan. 18, 2005 report from Robert Hill, then the city’s community services director, “It is my initial opinion that the cost to repair this facility could equal or exceed that of a new equivalent one. Extensive engineers assessment and analysis are necessary to prepare an estimated repair and retrofit cost. This would require substantial and costly engineer efforts to determine.”

The Northern California Cities Self Insurance Fund also expressed concerns about the condition of the facility in a Nov. 29, 2004 letter to Hill, including the structural integrity of the building, the roof drains and earthquake bracing at the 70-year-old building.

Structural engineer Robert Harp strongly recommended closing the pool, according to a Jan. 19, 2005 agenda item presented by Hill.