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Take the plunge

The Parks and Recreation Commission is being offered the chance to rebuild and expand Daniel Meyer Pool without asking voters for a tax increase. The commission should take the deal, which maintains the pool at its present location and preserves the separation between the pool and the Senior Center.

Parks Director Michael Black has proposed issuing a revenue bond for $2.6 million, to be paid off over 10 years. Revenue bonds are covered by existing income and don’t require a public vote because they don’t tap property taxes.

In this case, interest and principal on the bond would be covered by Food and Beverage Tax proceeds that generate $750,000 a year. Three other bonds are supported by that tax, totaling $190,000 a year. Those bonds paid for resurfacing Calle Guanajuato, improvements to Garfield Park and the purchase of Briscoe School park from the Ashland School District.

Daniel Meyer Pool, constructed in 1986, has reached the end of its life cycle. This funding proposal would allow the pool to be rebuilt and expanded to competition size, meeting the needs of swim teams in Ashland and Phoenix-Talent school districts, as well as recreational swimming, youth swimming lessons and therapeutic classes.

If the pool is not rebuilt, Ashland would be left without a public swimming pool, leaving Medford’s aging Jackson Pool the only public pool in the Rogue Valley.

The commission could act on the proposal in its meeting at 7 p.m. Monday. Ashland needs a new pool, and commissioners should move the project forward.

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