Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2006 Editorial • It’s time to find a way to build a new pool

At its Jan. 10 meeting, the Lassen County Board of Supervisors put off consideration of an ordinance imposing a half-cent sales tax to fund the High Sierra Recreation Alliance’s plans to build a new pool. After the Local Agency Formation Commission’s discussion of what effect forming the district will have on existing community service districts that provide recreation services, High Sierra’s Lisa Liband withdrew the ordinance to work out the issue.

If the board approves the tax at a future meeting, two-thirds of voters will have to OK it before it can be imposed.

Susanville’s Roosevelt Pool closed on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2004, “on the strong recommendation of a licensed structural engineer,” City Community Service Director Rob Hill announced that day.

The deterioration engineer Robert Harp presented to the Susanville City Council one year ago left no doubt it is unsafe to let anyone near the popular pool, at which swim lessons, water aerobics and lap swimming classes were always full. More than 10,000 people visited Roosevelt Pool each year. More than 500 kids signed up for swim lessons during each of three annual sessions.

Harp said the pool was not safe to occupy at any time because trusses were twisting. He also found new stress fractures daily on eight-by-14-inch wooden beams, which were sagging two inches lower than level. Some of the plates holding the trusses together were completely corroded. Others had no plates, and the wood was twisting out of the truss. If one of those trusses gave way, Harp said the whole structure would collapse.

The pool also had been losing 300-500 gallons of water a day since late November 2004 and no one knew where the water was going. Built in 1937 for slightly more than $20,000, the pool was falling apart.

Susanville’s Measure K half-cent sales tax to be used solely for the construction costs of the proposed new pool at Sierra Sports Complex at 925 Sierra Road failed on Nov. 2, 2004, with 53.73 percent of votes opposed and 46.27 percent in favor.

The center would have been located on the 16-acre site owned by the city. Now the city has pledged that property to the recreation alliance for a pool site.

One year ago, this newspaper called on city and county officials to get together and find a way the community can support to fund a new pool. The High Sierra Recreation Alliance responded and won city and county support. Now we urge anyone who’s concerned about the future of recreation in Lassen County to get involved in the process. Contact your representative on the Board of Supervisors and express your opinion.

Attend the meeting when the board discusses putting the tax on the ballot.

Get out and vote when the issue is on the ballot. It’s up to us to decide the future of recreation in Lassen County.