Jefferson County may find way to help fund Port Townsend city pool

PORT TOWNSEND — A plan to allocate public infrastructure money could generate the funds needed to repair the Mountain View Pool, according to material presented at a city-county meeting Monday.

The three members of the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners met with Port Townsend Mayor David King and City Manager David Timmons to discuss how to fund the $500,000 repairs, which the city cannot now afford.

The repair of the pool deck and heating element is estimated to cost between $135,000 and $150,000.

Unknown until the pool is drained is whether the liner will need to be repaired or replaced.

While extensive, the repairs will extend the life of the pool only about 10 years before other repairs are needed, officials said.

The pool, which was used in a memorable pilot-rescue training scene in the 1983 movie “An Officer and a Gentleman,” is scheduled to close next month and reopen at the beginning of 2013, according to Timmons.

Money for the pool repair has been in flux all year and was made even more uncertain after a reporting error left the city with $200,000 less in sales tax revenue than had been projected.

Because of a mistake in a reported delivery location, the city received funds that should have been allocated to the county since 2003.

When the error was discovered, Timmons said he hoped the county would allocate some money for pool repair.

At that time, County Administrator Philip Morley said the county is facing its own financial problems and could not commit to any support of the pool.

On Monday, Morley suggested a plan that would indirectly provide the city with repair funds for the pool.

The county has access to about $700,000 in public infrastructure money that could be used to support one of two projects committed to by the city: the repair of the Quincy Street Dock and support for the renovation of Building 202 at Fort Worden State Park.

The city has committed to allocating $500,000 to Building 202, which will house Peninsula College and a Goddard College extension, though the money won't be due until building permits are approved, Timmons said.

Any distribution of the infrastructure funds must be approved by a special board that includes County Commissioner David Sullivan, City Council member Michelle Sandoval, Port of Port Townsend Commissioner Dave Thompson, Jefferson County Public Utility District Commissioner Wayne King and three citizen representatives, Jerry Spiekerman, Francis Rawski and Bill Irwin.

On Monday, Morley said the board “should meet as soon as possible” to discuss the allocation due to the critical timing of the pool repair project.

In response to a question by King, Morley suggested that the city apply to the board to fund both the Quincy dock and Building 202 projects, since it is uncertain which one would be approved.

After the plan was presented, King addressed the irony of the situation:

“I assumed and hoped that one of the byproducts of this process would have been to draw the county back into supporting the pool,” King said.

“As it turns out, you've been doing that since 2003, which none of us knew about.”



Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at charlie.bermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: October 08. 2012 5:58PM
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