Spellerberg Outdoor Pool Advocates plan petition drive

There will be a press conference on Tuesday, October 2, at the main DT library at 4 pm to announce the petition drive pertaining to the Spellerberg proposal. The petition is for replacement of the OUTDOOR facility. It got stamped at the city clerk’s office yesterday. They have until March 27 to get the required signatures.

Mayor Mike Huether made some interesting statements about the Spellerberg Pool yesterday at a Masonic luncheon.

He made it known for the first time that Western Avenue will need to be widened. I wonder what Park Ridge merchants think about their parking lot possibly getting smaller?

He was also asked about placing the indoor pool at the Sanford Sports Complex. His response was that HE wants a “stand-alone facility”. I guess that is his decision and his alone.

Just for clarification, neither Stehly or I are involved with the Spellerberg petition drive, we already have our hands full with the snow gates drive. But I have given some advice to them and have helped them with gathering some information, and have promised to post updates about their drive. Like I have said in the past I am not against a public indoor pool, and the petition drive organizers are not either. It is just a matter of poor location and lack of funding information. We still do not know the cost and if any private dollars will be involved.

45 comments ↓

#1 Craig on 09.28.12 at 1:57 pm

That is a record for the number of different font styles used in one post l3wis. Congrats! :)

#2 rufusx on 09.28.12 at 2:47 pm

Where do they think they want it instead?

(Don’t say the Sanford Sports Complex – inaccessible to anyone without a private vehicle. Even worse to the industrial park events center.)

#3 thc on 09.28.12 at 3:25 pm

IF a 50-meter 8-lane pool, and whatever else they want to include in an indoor aquatic complex is actually built, it will be in the $20-million dollar range. IF it is built the way it should be, the pool will have a bulkhead that can be moved into place to provide two 25 yard pools, to accommodate both public swimming and swim club practice time (which will be RENTED time, money to the city from the swim clubs). In fact, it will likely be the full 50-meter length during meets only. It will also have a diving well that is deeper and can also be used for recreational swimming. IF the pool becomes the economic development engine it has every expectation to become, it can host AT LEAST 4 regional swim meets annually in additon to the regular South Dakota Swimming schedule. Those regional meets (and some of them are actually national in scope) can attract up to 1,000 swimmers AND THEIR FAMILIES for at least four overnights and up to five days. There’s a lot of downtime between events for swimmers which means trips to the mall, trips downtown (AND they tip! rather handsomely for the most part). Do the math. and figure the space. If this pool does what it is expected to do, Spellerberg Park is not the location for it. Access (even by widening streets) is seriously limited and parking is non-existent. Sorry rufus…right now the Sport Complex is the most logical choice for the thing. Harmodan Park is inaccessible to anyone without a vehicle. Great Bear is inaccessible to anyone without a vehicle. Falls Park is inaccessible to anyone without a vehicle. The town’s gotten a bit bigger – Tough to get much of anywhere without a vehicle unless you plan to stay in your five-block neighborhood.

#4 Nature Lover on 09.28.12 at 4:51 pm

In 2006 the city eagerly accepted a SW 12.75 acre land donation specifically for an indoor aquatic center. This piece of real estate was not served by bus routes and the city was thrilled with the site. Sadly the offer has been withdrawn. But the point is bus service was not critical to the location.

And furthermore, if the city is willing to locate youth football, ice, and tennis in an area without bus service, then there is no logical reason swimmers should have any more difficulty than the others! Besides, I do believe there plans being made for service to be extended to the Sports Complex in the near future.

#5 Lex on 09.30.12 at 8:33 am

I will sign that for sure!!

#6 Scott on 09.30.12 at 11:54 am

One thing that needs to be remembered is that this is not a neighborhood issue. Not to put down Alice, but she loves the idea only (or mainly) because it is in her part of town. The issue is whether the city can afford another expensive building. By turning it into a neighborhood issue, then every area of the city can whine that they also need one as this facility isn’t convenient for them.

#7 l3wis on 09.30.12 at 12:31 pm

Build the darn thing at one of the High Schools already and get it over with.

#8 Alice15 on 10.01.12 at 8:52 am

It is not only because it is in my neighborhood. My point is I don’t mind that it is in my neighborhood, it is centrally located, the land is already accessible and does not need to be purchased saving the citizens millions, it will be open 52 weeks instead of 10 allowing it to be economically viable in the winter months, it enhances the current layout of the park as a whole, and above all else – I am not interested in another “fat” pool for kids where they sit on a tube and go around in circles all day.

Obviously – you have not taken the time to read my comments in the past, otherwise; you have would not have made that ridiculous coment above.

#9 Craig on 10.01.12 at 9:07 am

Alice… if it were “economically viable” a private investor or company would build an aquatic center and make money from it.

An indoor pool will cost the taxpayers money – and it will never pay for itself. We need to ask ourselves is this something we need or want so badly that we are willing to add another $20 or so million to our debt load? Is it worth paying interests for the next few decades just so people can take a swim in December?

#10 Alice15 on 10.01.12 at 10:16 am

It is amazing how much some do not look at data. The city is responding to a survey sent out last year where 60% stated their number one priority for “their tax dollars” recreation was an indoor swimming facility. 70% of people that attended community meetings for this facility were in favor of an indoor facility at Spellerberg. And if you think this is all about taking a swim in December, you yourself has not taken the time to really look at this overall plan and its benefits.

I think that the “Spellerberg neighborhood” people (as they call themselves) should take a hard look at the future and not try to preserve something they may not be around in 10 years to even observe. That may seem harsh, but this area is amazingly lucky to also have Sherman park 3 blocks away that includes not only the park and an immense amount of green space between 22nd & Kiwanis and 18th & Kiwanis, but also a park and the whole Sherman park complex which includes picnic areas, a playground, the zoo, softball fields, and an outdoor ice rink. Good grief – how lucky can one area be? It’s a change and a change for the community to benefit year around from. We are not lacking “park” area in this part of town and in fact, we are probably better set-up for recreation than about any other part of town.

#11 Detroit Lewis on 10.01.12 at 10:34 am

As I pointed out in the past, that poll is misleading;

http://www.southdacola.com/blog/2011/07/argue-endorser-ed-board-uses-extreme-misinformation-to-endorse-public-indoor-pool/

Another partial fact the ED Board throws out there. If you look at the ratios of that survey, 1 in 7 of that 60% support an indoor pool subsidized by taxpayers, the other 6 want it paid for by user fees. We know how the city operates these facilities, they will NEVER be self-sustaning.

#12 Sy on 10.01.12 at 11:52 am

I also love how people who don’t walk the walk will state with 100% certainty how something will fail because of a few times a year there will be a crowd.

I have kids in sports and so I found myself in Des Moines 2 weeks ago for a tournament. If you know Des Moines, you know that City has been pushing west, north and south for decades. The event was at a soccer complex that would be about the equivalent of the Pioneer park area of Sioux Falls if it were about the size of Yankton Trails. It was not far off downtown & the Airport area, and it was smack dab in a residential area that was about half low income-half mid range housing from mainly the 60′s & 70′s. I had to take a main drag (Like a Cliff ave) for part of the 6 mile commute and the other half was a two lane like current day Western Ave. There was at least a couple thousand kids & their families at this tourney and getting in and out wasn’t a problem, finding the place wasn’t a problem, traffic wasn’t a problem, parking wasn’t a problem. No food or retail around the complex, but that wasn’t a problem..although if there was I’m sure they would’ve been busy. Only problem was the refs, but that’s another story.

People adapt, as do neighborhoods. Like my tourney, these events are typically held over a weekend and scheduled so a normal percentage of people are coming and going at different times during the day. Not everything needs to be on the edge of town with a a 10 acre flat parking lot to succeed for fux sake!

#13 Alice15 on 10.01.12 at 3:21 pm

As I suspected Detroit – you will find a problem with numbers but have absolutely no comment regarding the huge amount of park space in this area between Spellerberg and Sherman park. Why? Because you cannot argue it. We are not lacking open green space or parks in this area hence one of the reasons the city took a look at Spellerberg to begin with. And if you truly want to get technical – Campus Park is about 8 blocks to the east.

Good points, Sy. When you are walking the walk and visitng other cities for sports or other activities, you get a TRUE feeling of what this world looks like.

And I guess I will be a real horses ass and state that I would rather have this facility than frickin’ snow gates. Funny how the same people that do not want facilities that promote health and wellness also can’t seem to shovel their driveway.

#14 Detroit Lewis on 10.01.12 at 4:35 pm

Alice – for the 900th time, I support an indoor public pool. This location just doesn’t make sense. Period. I suppose we can ramrod another project thru and put it in a bad location, but didn’t we already do this with the EC? When are we going to learn and plan things correctly in this town? What I can’t figure out is if there is so many people who want this indoor pool at Spellerberg (the survey had around 70 people supporting it being subsidized), why not have your own petition drive and put it on the ballot? That’s what we are doing with snow gates and that is what they are doing with the outdoor pool. Oh, that’s right, when the special interests want something in this town they make there 10 year visit to the Council meeting and talk about the ‘children’ and they get what they want.

#15 cr on 10.01.12 at 5:56 pm

An indoor aquatics center costing the taxpayers over $20 million dollars……..

AND a THIRD PUBLIC VOTE on this issue………..

2005 Rec Center defeated by a 2 to 1 margin

2007 Drake Springs defeated by a 2 to 1 margin

2013 Spellerberg

It will be interesting to see the “outcome”………..

#16 Alice15 on 10.01.12 at 9:27 pm

And a lot of us do not think this is a bad location, in fact, we think it’s the ideal location. We’ll see what happens just as we will see what happens with the snow gates.

#17 Scott on 10.01.12 at 10:48 pm

So Alice, since it isn’t because it’s in your neighborhood, would you have the same amount of support if it was in another partially-center section of town? I’m honestly not trying to be a hater. I just want to know.

Personally, I’m a bit scared of setting us up for another facility that will need year-to-year funding PLUS cash needed to pay off the bond. We really don’t know what a money trap the EC will be. I’d much rather wait until we know more about that issue before spending tens of millions on another.

Also, I need to see some real stats on expected usage of such a facility. You complain about how the outdoor pools are only open for ten weeks, but that is the ten weeks where there is no school AND it’s hot. It’s my belief that the vast majority of kids and teens associate swimming with sunny, hot days. The same kids are there every day of the summer.

A place like this would be visited as more of a special event, IMHO. Plus, no matter where this place is built, the vast majority of people will have to drive.

I’m not necessarily against it, but I would rather see it at one of the high schools AND I’d rather wait.

#18 Craig on 10.02.12 at 9:29 am

I have to agree with Scott – if we must have indoor pools (because let’s not fool ourselves into thinking once we have one it will be the last) then let’s try to somehow connect them to schools so we can take advantage of them for more activities.

I don’t see the value in taxpayers funding facilities that will be essentially empty during school hours since children are the ones who will use them more than anyone else. If the old ladies want to do water aerobics, they can join the Y and get over it.

I just don’t understand this mentality behind those who feel we must have year round everything. They feel we should be able to swim in December, ice skate in July, play football during a hail storm, and attend a monster truck rally in an air conditioned building.

Maybe Sanford was right…we should build a dome over the city so people won’t have their precious desires impacted by some unfortunate weather.

I probably wouldn’t have a problem with it if we could pay for these things out of reserve funds rather than having to bond for everything, but at the rate we are going the kids who might one day swim inside of an indoor pool will be the very same people paying for the facility as adults.

#19 Sy on 10.02.12 at 12:37 pm

Again I’ll ask, google earth your favorite High school and show me on any of their sites where you could add on a comparable facility without eating up existing practice/playing fields and/or parking? One centrally located facility would work for all of the HS swim programs without overlap….IE if WHS is hosting a tourney, then the facilites at LHS & RHS are sitting empty since typically those teams will be competing with each other.

Also, the NIMBYS in that neighborhood are drinking the same Kool Aid as the 69th neighborhood was when they thought their little burb would turn into Compton if Wal Mart came in. It’s a pathetic, short sighted mindset that didn’t win the day with the EC vote and won’t win the day on this one either. There’s a lot of people who live in that neighborhood who would see a nice boost in their property value being so close to the City’s only indoor aquatic center, that argument didn’t fly at Drake because a large number of those voters don’t own their homes and the proponents did nothing to promote the project on its merits, which were substantial.

#20 Alice15 on 10.02.12 at 8:22 pm

One of the wonderful things about Spellerberg is we already own the land. If we put this somewhere else centrally located – would I consider it a good idea? probably – but we’re going to pay more $$ (probably in the millions) for land. There in lies a huge difference.

If you want to know how much an indoor pool is used during the day – go check out the Sanford Wellness Center. Classes are booked nearly all day starting at 5:30am, lap lanes are being used nearly all day, and swimming lessons are offered at various times. In fact – we have been a member there for a number of years – and it is almost impossible to have a lap lane to yourself and at peak times (morning, noon, and night) you could be swimming in a circle with 3-5 other people. Pools are used because it is the best form of exercise that does not cause strain to your joints.

Once again – we have people chiming in with their supposive facts and they have never “walked the walk” as Sy would say and actually observed an indoor pool and the amount of activity that goes on. I have no doubt this pool would be busy all day by various generations and activity levels.

#21 Scott on 10.02.12 at 8:45 pm

And that’s why I’m asking questions. again, would you be as happy if it was in another semi-central part of town?

#22 l3wis on 10.02.12 at 10:13 pm

It makes sense to build it at a school, and that is why no one will embrace the idea, because it makes sense. I get so tired of Dick and Jane needing this, and needing that. Since when do I have to fund ‘Dick and Jane’? Seriously? I already pay property taxes for public education. Shouldn’t this money be used to the full degree, not only in academics but in physical education? And I am not talking about the ‘athletes’ who win football championships, but the fat ass kids who don’t get any physical activity unless PE class forces them into it. Swimming has been proven, time and time again to be a great sport that is low impact, and great exercise. Why do we always have to cater to some f’ing group? If the swim teams want a competitive pool, well put your credit on the line and go build yourself one. If you want to help senior citizens and the low income, build a public pool at the schools that everyone can use. No one gives a shit about your ‘swim meets’ seriously. NO ONE GIVES A SHIT! Spending tax dollars on helping everyone in this community, I am all for, helping some olympic hopefuls, go sell popcorn or something.

#23 Sy on 10.03.12 at 9:53 am

@ Scott, I would be happy if the City did the indoor pool in a centrally located neighborhood and also on land that we either already own or get donated for the project. Doesn’t have to be Spellerberg, but like others have said we would still need to replace that pool. Considering what’s available for sites, Spellerberg simply makes the most sense.

#24 Craig on 10.03.12 at 10:58 am

Alice: “If you want to know how much an indoor pool is used during the day – go check out the Sanford Wellness Center.”

I would guess Alice that this strongly depends upon what gym you are a member of. I’m not a member of Sanford, but when I was a member of a different gym with a pool, it was never an issue. The only time the pools were ‘crowded’ was outside of school hours and occasionally the kids would drift over to the lap pool instead of the leisure pool which could create some problems.

However why should the city have to provide an indoor pool when there are so many gyms who already do? It is a rhetorical question – because we all know the real reason people want a city pool is because it is subsidized by the taxpayer and therefore they can save money when they buy their annual pass. Heaven forbid we actually join a real gym and pay monthly fees when the city can just provide a cheaper alternative.

Sy – I get your point about attaching pools to the high schools, but it could be done with some creative planning. For Roosevelt they could reconfigure the parking lot behind the school and add a lot across Sertoma for the overflow. Or you could take out the baseball fields to the East and relocate them. Or get crazy and build it just to the East but combine with the existing outdoor Keuhn Park pool. It would still be within walking distance for the students to use.

Lincoln might be the hardest one to find the room, but eliminating one practice football field would probably be doable and would just require some planning for practices since they would still have one practice field plus the main actual field. Would it be easy? Probably not – but I would argue the utilization and benefits would be worth it.

A centralized pool might be nice, but I don’t envision the schools using it because it would require the logistics of transporting students and the travel time would make it inefficient.

I sound like an old Scrooge, but I still don’t think this is something the city should do at all. With the new Events Center, the River Greenway, the possible relocation of railroad tracks, and the existing debt burden I think they are stretching themselves too thin and I don’t see benefits in projects which require decades of bonds to pay for them.

#25 Alice15 on 10.03.12 at 3:01 pm

Well get ready – because the group that wants this to remain an outdoor pool wants it to be a “pool.” Guess what – if it is replaced – it will not be a pool – it will be an outdoor wonderland pool that will take up just as much space, if not more, and will require more parking. Choose your poison – an indoor pool that can be used 52 weeks out of the year or a fat, lazy pool park that will be used 10 weeks out of the year. Regardless – it won’t be a pool, it will need more parking, and will take up just as much space. This pool is getting a facelift no matter what people want.

#26 cr on 10.03.12 at 4:34 pm

A public vote will clarify whether or not SF taxpayers are willing to bond for over 20 million dollars for an indoor swimming pool…………

AT ANY LOCATION!!

#27 Craig on 10.03.12 at 4:59 pm

Maybe we can start by being honest about how long the pools are open. Many/most of the pools open in late May (May 25th was the date this year) and they don’t close until August or September (some closed on August 10th, some stayed open until Aug 24th, and the final closings this year were September 2nd).

So worst case the pools are open 11 weeks, with the longest being open more than 14 weeks. Maybe this isn’t a huge issue, but when people throw around the “only open for 10 weeks a year” it is nothing short of dishonest and misleading.

Also keep in mind a pool open 52 weeks a year requires maintenance 52 weeks a year, staffing 52 weeks a year, and due to our lovely climate, a massive heating bill during the winter months. I’d love to see a total operating cost estimate on a year-round facility vs. a traditional “summer” pool.

Oh heck what does it matter – we have 60-something year old women that need to get their water walking in and they will be damned if they are going to join a gym at the outrageous cost of $37 a month. Am I right?

#28 Scott on 10.03.12 at 5:32 pm

Craig is my hero.

#29 Sy on 10.03.12 at 6:05 pm

@CR as long as we’re on an honesty kick be sure to note that if it’s $20 million at Spellerberg it will be $25 million at the yet to be determined “other location” and that still means $5 million to fix up Spellerberg.

@ Craig, it has nothing to do with 60 year old women doing water aerobics. This is about mixed use: recreation, health, kids & their families and plugging a hole that even lil ‘ol Mitchell, SD has for their City sponsored swim program: A place to train and hold meets whether it’s July or January. Last I checked they didn’t dry up and blow away because they built an indoor pool.

#30 cr on 10.03.12 at 6:17 pm

I personally do NOT support spending over 20 million TAX DOLLARS on an indoor aquatic center AT ANY LOCATION.

Both Sy and Alice15 are long-time advocates of an indoor pool.

Over the past several years, both of these individuals have stated there is widespread support in the community for an indoor pool.

If that is the case, why would they fear a public vote that could support what they have been advocating for??!!

#31 l3wis on 10.03.12 at 9:11 pm

CR – I agree. Why not have an initiative that says just that? Why is always the opposition that has to do these petition drives?

#32 Alice15 on 10.03.12 at 9:32 pm

Not scared of a public vote, just wondering if we need to take a petition out for everything it seems these days.

Funny how somebody has categorized me as supporting something for several years when I am fairly confident that I haven’t been on this blog for more than a couple of years and the topic of an indoor pool just resurfaced about 5 months ago. You don’t support this pool and I don’t think I give 2 rips about snow gates. Whether we have them or not – I will be shoveling, so that issue isn’t even on my radar screen.

@Craig – this summer was the first summer that the pools were actually open more than 10 weeks and if you look at some pools that do not remain open until Labor Day weekend – they are lucky to be open 10 weeks. 10 weeks was an average, but if you want to get technical – so be it. What fact you can’t screw up is 52 weeks and it is time for an option of health and wellness year around. You can say the same thing regarding snow gates. How many weeks out of the year will we use them? Are they really worth tax payer dollars for the amount of time they will be used? I guess it is matter of what is important to each individual,

#33 Scott on 10.03.12 at 9:47 pm

If snowgates cost over $20 million plus daily maintenance, staffing, and other costs that would be a worthy comparison.

#34 l3wis on 10.03.12 at 10:17 pm

Scott is right. It amazes me that people bitch that people ‘just can’t scoop their drives’ yet go begging to the city so their kids can have (discounted) swimming. I call it discounted because that is all it is. There are plenty of clubs to swim at, but they cost a little more. We call it ‘socialism’ when we expect the city to trim their own trees or plow their own streets (that we pay for) but when it comes to the ‘children’ no expense can be spared. Which I partially agree with. Build the public pools at the schools.

#35 Alice15 on 10.04.12 at 9:17 am

This is all fine and dandy – but Spellerberg is going to be replaced and I guarantee it is not with another swimming pool or at a different location. These people are collecting signatures because they want it to remain a swimming pool and there is no chance that is going to take place. It will either be an indoor pool or a water park. Both will take more space, both will take more money, and both will take more parking. As I said – pick your poison.

#36 Craig on 10.04.12 at 9:29 am

Sy – I’m not aware of any indoor aquatic center in Mitchell. They did build a new aquatic center last year… but it is outdoors and doesn’t open until May.

You may be referring to their indoor facility on Main street, but that is hardly a fair comparison considering it is a small four lane above ground pool with nothing else. Not two pools, no slides or diving boards… just a small lap pool with vinyl sides. It is a kit that homeowners can actually purchase and set up in their back yards. It isn’t concrete and it surely isn’t anything even close to an indoor aquatic center. It is worth noting that same pool also failed a few years back and flooded the building… so I’m guessing we don’t want anything on that level.

The other question is how did Mitchell pay for their little pool? We know after the pool failed the Mitchell Aquatic Club said they would be unable to pay for a new pool because they didn’t have the funds. Note they didn’t say the city doesn’t have the funds… they said “they” didn’t, so I’m guessing they were the ones who paid for the pool via private funds. In the end insurance allowed them to rebuild – it didn’t have anything to do with the city and the payments were made to the Mitchell Aquatic Center. Total cost of that pool was less than $50k, which is about 400 times less than the $20M figure being tossed around for a new indoor aquatic center in SF.

I also know when it came time for Mitchell to build an indoor ice rink, the Mitchell Hockey Association raised money and made it happen. They didn’t head to the Mayor and beg for him (or maybe it was her at the time) to build them a facility.

That is one of the differences between Mitchell and Sioux Falls. In Mitchell people decide they want something and they invest and raise money and go out and do it. In Sioux Falls they just line up at the trough and wait for the city to write a check.

The final point I will make is that historically Mitchell has had very little debt. I don’t know the current figures because I don’t keep up on it, but as a percentage of total revenues I would bet money that it is a fraction of what Sioux Falls carries. Mitchell has an advantage because they rake in millions every summer due to massive tourism, and in a city that size it makes a huge difference.

#37 Craig on 10.04.12 at 9:49 am

Alice: What fact you can’t screw up is 52 weeks and it is time for an option of health and wellness year around. You can say the same thing regarding snow gates. How many weeks out of the year will we use them?

I have several issues with your argument.

1. You seem to be suggesting without a pool residents don’t have any options for health and wellness. I disagree and there are countless things we can do to stay healthy. Besides – if health and wellness are really the major concerns, they should be joining a gym and paying their $40 a month – or take one of the many swimming aerobic classes offered by our local hospitals or fitness centers.

2. Snow gates are really a separate issue. Argue all you want about whether an indoor pool is a valuable addition, but snowgates are just a distraction. However since you bring it up….

3. 1200. That is how many people Harvard estimated die each year while shoveling snow.

4. 100 fold. That is the increased risk of heart attack found by a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. So people who are out of shape increase their risk of heart attack by 100 each time they shovel. Now you can argue these same people should be swimming in order to get in shape and I won’t disagree… but they can already do so by signing up at a fitness center.

5. Snowgates might only be used several months a year, but they don’t cost money in July when they are sitting idle. They are a one time investment with very little maintenance and no salaries or utility bills tied to them in the off months. In fact, according to some estimates, snowgates will actually save time due to snowplows not having to reverse and drive in circles to clear intersections they just drove through.

6. Snowgates solve a problem caused by the city. The snow comes from city (public) streets and is pushed into private property. Snowgates simply keep the snow where it belongs. Think about how you would feel if the city was tearing up the street in front of your house and they decided to dump all the old asphalt at the end of your driveway. You would be livid… yet when they push snow out there it seems perfectly fine. I don’t follow this logic.

7. Snowgates benefit all residents, not just those interested in one activity. Even if you don’t own a home you would still benefit from cleaner intersections, clean approaches into local businesses, and in theory lower healthcare costs attributed to people injured while removing the rock hard ridge of snow at the end of a driveway.

So lets just ignore the snowgate issue since that is really a whole separate issue. You could make the argument about any city expenditure that doesn’t directly benefit you, but that doesn’t change the fact that this discussion is about an indoor pool. A $20 to $25M indoor pool which by many accounts is nothing short of a luxury… and one which will need to be bonded for and paid over a 20 year timespan or so.

Love it or hate it, is this really the best use of our tax dollars? Over $150 per man, woman, and child who happens to live in Sioux Falls just so some people can swim in December and NOT have to pay for a gym membership?

I might not be a great negotiator, but I know a bad deal when I see one. I guess I wouldn’t make a very good Democrat because I just don’t think government should be all things for all people.

#38 Sy on 10.04.12 at 12:19 pm

@ Craig. My main point was that Mitchell recognized a need for an indoor pool to train and hold meets and they got it done.

But since you brought it up, yes it’s the one on Main and it’s also a perfect example of what happens when you do these things on the cheap, which was likely the Mitchell swim association’s only perceived way they could get it done. Instead of spending the $2-4 million on a proper facility, they went the Walmart way and they paid the price for it.

BTW: here’s a link I came across with some good info, even though it’s from 2008:

http://www.markey-consult.com/faqs.html

#39 Craig on 10.04.12 at 1:43 pm

I get your point Sy, although technically it was probably the insurance company that paid the price for it. :) Even after their disaster they turned right around and replaced it with the same exact pool design. Of course it is worth noting Aberdeen has a very similar pool from the same company and *knock on wood* no problems thus far.

So here is a question – why are the Sioux Falls swim teams so quiet about this? Why aren’t we hearing from them – wouldn’t it seem probable that they have a vested interest in an indoor facility or are they happy with the YWCA / YMCA and Dow Rummel pools?

#40 Detroit Lewis on 10.04.12 at 3:53 pm

Craig, thanks for the snow gates talking points. We have been compiling arguments for snow gates once we get it on the ballot. So far the biggest opposition we have to them is elected officials (because they don’t like the initiative process) and small snow removal contractors (because they will lose business). We are almost at 3,000 signatures.

#41 Alice15 on 10.04.12 at 4:02 pm

1200 people die from shovelling snow and how many people die from drowning if they could have had access to swimming lessons at a community pool? You can spin this any way you want to. At the end of the day, it involves tax payer dollars.

The swim teams are a damned if you do, damned if you don’t. If they have a voice, then it becomes this is a special interest project. If they say nothing, then they aren’t involved, as you ahve stated above. With that said, I definitely think they need to do just as the ice supporters and tennis supporters have done and go raise a big chunk themselves – and maybe they already have. I have said that since day one.

#42 Detroit Lewis on 10.04.12 at 9:19 pm

Alice – I don’t know how to swim, that is why I avoid swimming pools. It’s kinda like fighting bulls if you are not a bull fighter. I am just saying.

#43 Alice15 on 10.05.12 at 8:54 am

Bull fighting requires tax payer dollars? Sorry Detroit, but that’s a dumb comparison. I am just saying.

#44 Craig on 10.05.12 at 9:20 am

Alice:1200 people die from shovelling snow and how many people die from drowning if they could have had access to swimming lessons at a community pool?

That might seem like information you may want to try to figure out on your own Alice. However, there are a few issues with that statement and comparison.

First, people already have a choice if they want to take swimming lessons. The city offers them every single summer without fail so there is already the very access you are demanding, and the Y offers lessons several times a year at their facility – even in winter. Total cost for non-members is $57, which is probably about the same cost for a pool pass at an aquatic center, so there really is no excuse for anyone who wants to learn how to swim.

Second, unless we are talking about spontaneous flooding, people have an option on whether to jump in a body of water. If they don’t know how to swim – they probably shouldn’t jump into a deep lake or a pool. I know accidents happen, but refer to point one… they are easily avoided if someone has a desire to learn.

Third, people do NOT have a choice whether the snow falls or whether a plow drives by their homes. So really the only choice is – do they try to move the snow themselves, or do they pay someone else to do it for them. For someone on a fixed income, paying a service $50 every time it snows might be cost prohibitive, and trying to find a local teenager to dig them out may not work when the plow drives by at 9:10am on a Tuesday and Mrs. Johnson needs to be at Avera for her dialysis at 10:30.

Honestly – this continual desire to blend the indoor pool issue with that of snowgates is just silly. They are two separate issues. One impacts essentially everyone who lives, works, or drives in Sioux Falls. The other impacts those who want to swim in the winter. They might both involve the city spending money, but aside from that they have no connection to one another so let’s just focus on the real issue here.

#45 Detroit Lewis on 10.05.12 at 10:05 am

As J-Ellis pointed out on the ’100 Eyes’ show the other day, they would come out of different budgets to. Swimming pools come out of the capital budget, and snow removal comes out of the operational funds. So, you are right, totally different issue.

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