Friends of the Pool, the nonprofit that is spearheading an effort to replace the Wagner Memorial Pool with a year-round facility, is offering a volunteer training session on Monday (May 22) for those interest in collecting petition signatures supporting creation of a Methow Aquatics District.
The training event will be from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Winthrop library.
According to information from Friends of the Pool, the petition effort is led by the group’s Rec District Task Force, which has been working on the mechanics of putting a proposal in front of voters. The hope is to place a proposal on the November general election ballot.
Formation of a taxing district would require approval by a majority of voters within the defined district, which is expected to encompass the Methow Valley School District. Funds generated from the levy would support construction and operation of what is being called the Methow Aquatics Center, to be located in Twisp.
According to Friends of the pool, the goal is to collect 1,600 signatures by July 15.
Attendees at the Monday session will learn about the petition process and become knowledgeable about the ballot initiative and rec district formation process, along with talking points.
“We strongly encourage all petition signature gatherers to attend this training session. It will be an excellent opportunity for us to connect and work towards a common goal of building a vibrant future for Methow Valley,” Friends of the Pool said.
Friends of the Pool hired Denver-based recreation and aquatic planning firm Ballard*King and Associates to conduct a feasibility study of options for building a new aquatic center to replace the 57-year-old Wagner Pool. At a public forum in January, the cost of new pool was estimated at around $20 million.
With the 15-month long feasibility study complete, Friends of the Pool has been exploring grant opportunities and formation of a recreation district. It is also anticipated that a capital campaign will be necessary to raise a large portion of the building costs.
Pool opening update
The Wagner Memorial Pool is being prepped for the summer season, Twisp’s Public Works Director Andrew Denham told the Town Council last week, and recently hired pool manager Thor Tyson is doing “a great job” putting operational plans together.
Denham said the best case scenario is that the pool will open by Memorial Day weekend.
The town, with help from Friends of the Pool, in continuing to recruit lifeguards.