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Multiple pool bonds failed in Medford before aquatic center’s passage

Did the city ever consider building four or five outdoor neighborhood pools instead of the expensive complex? A single parent with two kids living near Providence Hospital would have to take how many buses to get to the complex and pay how much?

— W.C., via email

Your exact idea may not have been floated by Medford officials, but voters have considered multiple bond measures to build pool facilities of varying scopes and sizes between 1988 and 2012 — and voted them down.

Whether because of bad timing and recessions or because of opposition — such as in 1998 when a Medford fitness center called a proposed pool bond “pork” — four bond measures had failed, according to Mail Tribune archives.

That changed last year, however, when the city tried a proposal that didn’t call for raising property taxes.

It turns out, a majority of Medford voters were OK with increasing lodging taxes to cover the costs of building the dual-pool event and aquatics center at Wes Howard Memorial Sports Park planned for the 1200 block of Ross Lane.

Hotel visitors are paying for the lion’s share of the complex because the city hopes that a facility with two water slides, a 13-lane competition pool and a nearly 90,000-square-foot indoor recreation and event facility will work to draw people from outside of the area.

As for your second question, the Rogue Valley Transportation District schedule shows multiple bus routes from Providence Medford Medical Center to the sports park, but the simplest route involves one bus and a standard $2 one-way fare.

Travel time is 41 minutes including about 10 minutes of walking to take the 27 crosstown bus one-way, according to a Google Maps estimate. Children younger than 9 ride with their parent or guardian for free, low-income fare is $1, and RVTD also offers monthly and summer youth passes for frequent riders.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501 or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com.