SELAH — Voters living in the Selah School District will again decide whether public funds will be used to operate the Selah Aquatic Center.
The Selah Park and Recreation Service Area is seeking approval of a six-year maintenance and operations levy that is expected to raise at least $250,000 in its first year. For the owner of a $200,000 home, the levy would cost $37.50 a year.
Last year, a levy that would have raised $305,000 to run the aquatic center, which SPRSA Chairwoman Kelliann Ergeson said is expected to open Friday, fell short of the 60 percent supermajority required for passage.
As a result, the Selah Parks Foundation conducted a fund drive that brought in more than $100,000 to allow the pool to operate for at least six weeks this summer, Ergeson said. If revenue will support it, she said the plan is to have swim season run to Labor Day.
In past years, SPRSA’s levy was used to reimburse Selah for maintaining and operating the pool. But this year, Ergeson said, the SPRSA is taking over operation of the pool, which she said resulted in a reduction from last year’s, which was based in part on the city operating the pool.
The new levy is also expected to help SPRSA build up its financial reserves, as suggested by the state Auditor’s Office.
In 2015, service-area voters approved a $6.1 million bond to replace the aging pool at Wixson Park with an aquatic center. Originally planned with three pools, including one that could be covered, the project was pared back to remain within budget as disputes between SPRSA and the city over the approval of a lease for the pool delayed the project.
The current design consists of a single pool divided into a zero-entry recreational pool, a lazy-river feature and a six-lane competitive pool. A cover for the pool could be added later if finances allow, allowing the center to run year-round, supporters said.