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Letter To The Editor: An Open Letter To County Council

on December 5, 2017 - 8:39am

Los Alamos

Dear County Councilors,

I can only imagine how difficult your job must be. I am sure that each decision brought before you is weighed carefully. I am asking you to consider carefully the proposed leisure/kiddie pool that is being considered and why it is important to do it right. 

We need a pool that serves the community, one with a large enough capacity to accommodate large groups of children of all ages. I believe there is no argument against the fact that Los Alamos needs a facility that is neither too deep nor too cold for children to learn to swim. 

A case in point, one fourth of the Los Alamos Freshman Class cannot swim. During Warm Water Weekend, the attendance at the pool doubles. In July, more than 8,000 repeat swimmers frequented the Aquatic Center.

In order for the schools to save money on the cost of transporting students several classes are loaded on the same bus, which contain at a minimum 60 students. We need a pool that supports that number of students.

The Aquatomic coaches were recently turned down to host the state swim meet, because there is no warm up area for swimmers to prepare for their events. This meet attracts more than 400 swimmers and their families who would have spent two nights and three days in Los Alamos availing themselves of our hotels and restaurants.

The county wants to attract tourists. Several athletic venues that are touted to draw out of town athletics for meets and tournaments are asking for funding. They include the tennis courts, golf course, and ice rink. The proposed pool should be considered among this group. It should have a facility that could also handle meets.

We do not want to repeat the mistakes of past projects that tried to save money and ended up not serving the community. That is how Cottonwood on the Green cannot support large groups for civic functions. That is how 5th and 6th grade students at Chamisa Elementary School were relegated to portables while the rest of the school enjoyed instruction in a modern attractive facility.

Please consider at tonight’s Council Meeting approving an addition of $2 million to the already $5 million suggested by your Council, as well as the $150,000 donated by local citizens for the express purpose of a leisure pool so that we can have a facility that serves the needs of the community.