Members chosen for pool task force

Locations outside Port Townsend to get closer look

PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson County commissioners have approved the members of an eight-person task force, which will consider possible locations for a new pool facility located somewhere in the county.

The task force was created after the Board of Jefferson County Commissioners declined to support a proposed tax measure that would have helped raise funds for a new facility to replace Port Townsend’s aging Mountain View Pool.

Members of the task force are Todd McGuire and Nancy Speser from District 1, Jim Scarantino and Celeste Schoenthaler from District 2, Adele Govert and Lynn Hovde from District 3, and Craig Henry and Mary Rothschild, chosen by the Jefferson Aquatics Coalition.

District 3 Commissioner Greg Brotherton said a first meeting has been tentatively scheduled for April 30, but members have had difficulty finding a time to meet. There’s no deadline to get something before voters, Brotherton said.

Commissioners announced last month they were seeking volunteers for a task force that would consider locations in Jefferson County and alternative construction options that might bring the cost of the project down.

The task force will look at an array of options for a new pool facility after many residents objected to the size and scope of a plan supported by the Port Townsend City Council. That plan — drafted by a steering committee that included county representatives, including District 1 Commissioner Kate Dean — proposed building a $37 million facility located at the Mountain View Commons, where the city’s current pool is located.

Part of the funding for the project would come from a proposed countywide taxing district known as a Public Facilities District (PFD). But many residents, both in the county and the city of Port Townsend, objected to the scope of the project and to asking residents throughout the county to fund a pool located in Port Townsend.

County commissioners in November declined to create the PFD or place the proposed sales tax on the February special election ballot.

The task force will meet eight times before it presents findings to the Board of Jefferson County Commissioners, the Port Townsend City Council and the Healthier Together steering committee. Most of the meetings will take place online and be open to the public.

Meetings are scheduled to be two hours every other week, according to county documents.

The proposed pool facility in Port Townsend was the result of the Healthier Together Initiative, a joint effort between Jefferson County, the city of Port Townsend, Jefferson Hospital District, Port Townsend School District, Olympic Peninsula YMCA, Jefferson Aquatic Coalition and the Port of Port Townsend.

The current pool facility in Port Townsend is aging and needs to be replaced. Many county residents, including the commissioners, have said they could support building a new pool but want to look at less expensive options located outside Port Townsend.

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Reporter Peter Segall can be reached by email at peter.segall@peninsulanews.us.

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