Pooling resources: City looks for solutions

By 
Alastair Baker
News Editor
Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Red Lodge City Council have given the go-ahead for Mayor Bill Larson to use $47,000 in Resort Tax money set aside for the pool to start the ball rolling on a proposal submitted by Interstate Engineering to improve the pool's present situation.

Brent Moore, Western Regional Vice President of Interstate Engineering, presented the proposal before the City council last week that outlined a schedule to rehabilitate the existing pool.  

It has been estimated that the total project will come to approximately $1.5 million.

The council also suggested pulling further funds from the next round of Resort Tax money to help cover some of the costs. 

The 30-year old pool is outdated and has numerous mechanical and electric issues. The City estimates it costs $30,000 to $50,000 annually to keep it open and it loses up to 13,000 – 15,000 gallons of water a day.  

Several weeks ago the Parks District presented proposals to the council on how to fund the pool and the 13 parks around Red Lodge.

Five funding ideas were suggested: 1) Creation of a Parks and Recreation District within the elementary school district that would include parcels of land, Roscoe Luther and Bearcreek, and put it to a public vote; 2) the City passes a resolution to create a City Parks District within the city, that will cost more mills within the city. No vote required; 3) Rewrite the Resort Tax to allow a certain percentage of the tax to be spent on parks maintenance and improvements, assuming the Resort Tax is renewed; 4) Increase general City taxes and hope some goes into the general fund; and 5) Do nothing and find money within the budget. 

In the ensuing discussion at the Council meeting last week Lewistown’s pool was highlighted. They too had similar issues with their city pool and managed to rehabilitate the recreation center by creating a Save Our Swimming (S.O.S.) group who helped raise $1.3M through a grassroots effort. Designing a Lewistown Pool license plate that could be purchased for $40 and renewed for $20 also helped raise money.

The bulk of the money came when the City of Lewistown and Fergus County established a Recreation District and raised $3 million.  

Category:

The Carbon County News

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