Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, Editorial • Pool project takes giant step forward

If all goes according to plan, Lassen County residents may see the construction of a swimming pool begin as early as next year — happy and welcome news to a generation of youngsters who have been without a pool for more than a decade since the closing of Roosevelt Pool.

The recently created Honey Lake Valley Recreation Authority Governing Board held its first meeting at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10 in the Susanville City Council Chambers. The authority’s purpose is to facilitate the design, construction and operation of a community swimming pool.

Residents who have something to say about the pool project are invited to attend the authority’s open, public meetings. Meetings have been scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17 and 3 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8.

The governing board is comprised of two members of the Lassen County Board of Supervisors — District 3 Supervisor Larry Wosick and District 2 Supervisor Jim Chapman — and two members of the Susanville City Council — Brian Wilson and Nicholas McBride — and a fifth public member who has not yet been appointed.

Applications for that position will be accepted through Dec. 31. The only qualification is that the public member be a resident of Lassen County. Applicants are encouraged to submit a letter of interest and a brief description of qualifications to the Honey Lake Valley Recreation Authority, c/o the City Administrator, 66 N. Lassen St., Susanville, CA 96130.

The authority, created by a joint-powers agreement between the Lassen County Board of Supervisors and the Susanville City Council, is the brainchild of Wilson and Chapman. Frustrated by the lack of progress, the two leaders came up with the idea of creating the authority through a joint-powers agreement. The city and the county each will contribute as much as $200,000 per year to provide the seed money to get the pool project moving forward.

Some in the community have said the pool project should be the county’s highest priority, and that’s probably hyperbole. They point to other smaller cities in the region that have pools and wonder why we can’t get one built here in Susanville.

The newly created authority hit the ground running, seeking answers to a number of organizational questions and procedures and input from those in attendance.

The authority wants to reach out to every entity and organization that has created or collected any data on a community pool including site information and construction costs.

The authority also wants to gather all the funds donated toward the pool project such as Pennies for the Pool and other donations that have been made to ensure those monies are accounted for and used for their intended purposes.

The authority also may seek pledges and donations from the community and organizations in the future.

The idea of the creating the authority did not receive unanimous support in the Susanville City Council, the Lassen County Board of Supervisors or in the community.

But the authority has been created, and a dedicated group finally has the resources and the direction to get a pool built in Susanville. Let’s see what they can accomplish.