I read in a recent DeForest Times edition that the DeForest Village Board was going to discuss a study regarding building a new outdoor pool, potentially at Fireman’s Park. I hate to throw “cold water” on this idea but there are many good reasons why the village should not go ahead and build a new outdoor pool:
1. Property taxes are already too high. I just paid my property tax bill a couple of weeks ago. No improvements were made on my house in the past year and yet my net tax bill was nearly 16 percent higher than the year before. The majority of this increase was due to approval of school referendum questions, but the portion of the village’s part of the tax bill showed that there was 5.4 percent tax increase from last year. Village taxes have been going up every year and it looks like this upward trend is not going to stop even without a new pool.
2. The village already has a fine pool at the high school. The high school pool is open to the public for open swimming as well as offering swimming lessons. Years ago folks had to travel to Madison for swimming lessons and recreational swimming.
3. The village offers a full summer of recreational activities for the kids: T-Ball, softball and baseball at all different levels at the new ball diamonds plus diamonds at the Yahara school and high school; a splash pad; tennis courts at the high school; outdoor basketball courts; and a full slate of extra activities and field trips. There are also many types of family events and concerts at Fireman’s Park through the summer.
4. It has been pointed out that a new pool at Fireman’s Park would have little to no parking area. A new pool would take a big chunk out of the available open space in Fireman’s Park.
5. Pools are not only very expensive to build, they require high maintenance costs every year and outdoor ones can be used only in the warm summer months.
6. The village would have higher liability insurance costs if they go ahead with the new pool.
7. After discussing the pool study, the board should not go ahead with planning for a new pool until it is put before the voters in a referendum vote.
Dick Emerson is the former publisher of the DeForest Times-Tribune.