Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.

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It makes sense from multiple perspectives to have a community pool, especially if done in a partnership

I am writing in support of a new pool for Lake Oswego, particularly one that's jointly funded by the City and the school district. To me, a new pool for our community makes a lot of sense. I'd like to share how I come to my opinion in hopes it resonates with others and helps us move forward.

A community pool serves everyone, and increases spending in LO:

— One of the first activities I enrolled our children in when they were still infants was swimming lessons. They simply had to learn to swim given where we lived, and I can't imagine any parent in Lake Oswego not wanting this skill for their children. Unfortunately, a private swim lesson company in Beaverton got my money. As they got older, I took my children to Beaverton and Tigard community pools for lessons or camps.

— My husband and I learned to scuba dive in a Tigard pool and need return every few years for a refresh lesson.

— My grandchildren visit me for several weeks every summer. Again, for swim lessons and other pool-oriented activities, we have to leave Lake Oswego — so some other club or city gets our money.

— My daughter and I used the LO High School pool to get certified to participate in the LO Rowing Club. Even then I wondered at the poor state of the pool and facilities, especially for a city like LO where swimming was a priority for its residents.

— Finally, I expect my husband and I will want to turn to more low impact but highly beneficial swimming activities for fitness as we age. We would much rather give our money to an LO-based community pool vs. a Tualatin-based private fitness club.

Besides the benefit of a place for our swim teams to practice, a gathering place for all ages to have fun and stay fit year-round makes Lake Oswego more attractive as a place to live and own a home. A vibrant community pool would be one more asset that both encourages newcomers to want to move to LO, and simultaneously helps keep property values high for existing homeowners. Plus, it would retain more resident money in the community, potentially over multiple generations, and also attract new money from other communities — which means non-residents share in the ongoing expense burden. Whether you use it or not, this means a pool would pay dividends to all LO taxpayers.

Often I think how much we have here in LO compared to other communities. We are so fortunate. With this letter, I do want to be perceived as "demanding" a pool. Further, no one has asked me to write this letter. I just happen to think it's time to move forward. It makes sense from multiple perspectives to have a community pool, especially if done in partnership between the school district and the City. Such a partnership shares the funding burden and creates built-in incentives to maintain a balance between the interests of students, families and the community at large. To that end, I would favor building the highest quality facility we can afford — one that serves the needs of multiple constituents for the foreseeable future. Like many other features of Lake Oswego, I'm certain we will reap benefits from such an asset for years to come.

Ellen Recko is a Lake Oswego resident.


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