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September 30, 2008 7:39 am

Community involvement necessary in new pool

Written by Tribune Staff

Two years ago at this time, locals were working together to pass a capital facilities tax to pay for a new pool.

The future of Powell swimming hinged on the $9 million generated by the tax. Without it, some feared Powell's pool never would be replaced, leaving a gaping hole in a swimming community.

Voters countywide came together to ensure that Powell would get its aquatic center, and that projects would be funded in Cody and Meeteetse as well.

This weekend, Big Horn Basin residents are celebrating the first fruit of the tax — the new Park County Library in Cody. The library proves that the extra penny sales tax is going toward good.

It's also an example of communities coming together — something Powell needs to be reminded of.

While planning for the new pool, the Powell City Council and members of the Community Pool Committee disagreed on various important points along the way to a final design. Everyone is pleased Powell will get its new aquatic facility, but some of those points remain a sore spot today.

In order for the new pool to be a success, the City Council should dialogue with community members, especially those who frequent the current pool.

Currently, some people who care about swimming in Powell feel like the council doesn't care about them.

However, as ground is broken for the pool's construction, it's an opportunity for the council and the town's swimming community to come together to make Powell's aquatic center work for everyone.

This aquatic center is rooted in a community working toward a common goal. Some feel the project has strayed far from its origins — hopefully frayed roots can be reclaimed.