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A 56 Day Water Park - or - A Smarter Way

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Opinion

By Edward Banderob

"Wise Holistic Cost and Climatically Appropriate Utilization of Community Recreational Capital"


Facts - Climatic:
The climatic conditions in Butte are significantly different than where any other outside aquatics facility is located in Montana. In the last 20 years Butte has had an average of 2.6 days with day time high temperatures over 90 degrees, 22 days with night time low temperatures above 50 degrees, and a brisk wind most afternoons after 4:00 PM in the summer time.

Facts  - Outdoor Aquatics Usage;
The previous pool was open for the summer period, but only used an average of 56 days a year because it had to closed on inclement weather days due to the threat of lightning.

 

Facts - The YMCA has invested millions of dollars in its aquatic facility.  The Y is experienced in operating an aquatic facility, and has an experienced life-guard and teaching staff.  The Y has over 1,000 children a year participate in their aquatics programs.  the Y is open to Partnering with the City-County on an outdoor pool.

Yes we can all agree that our community needs a summer time family friendly aquatics feature at StoddenPark for the smaller children and tweenagers, but lets be realistic.


But; Isn't there a "Smarter Way"? Isn't there a Wiser Holistic More Cost and Climatically Appropriate Way to Spend the Limited Community Recreational Capital"  then to dump it all into a 56 day (70 less closures for lightning threats) usage Water Park? When we were told that the older teenagers are not going to use it anyway. Where will we get the Recreational Capital to develop the kind of Youth Recreational Facility at the MT Con that the older teens and maybe even the college students would use?

Wouldn’t it be smarter to spend $2M or $3M on a Family Friendly Glorified Splash Pad with a couple Water Slides ending in Splash/Plunge Pools?  That could be enclosed, with Plexiglas sides and a retractable roof, and be less costly to operate?

Wouldn’t it be smarter to spend $2M or $3M to create a year around Water-Snow-Ice Park at the Mt Con? With more extreme  water-snow-ice slides and dirt/snow terrain features at the MT Con that would be an attraction for older teens and maybe even some of the sports enthusiast at MTech.

Wouldn’t it be smarter to enter into a Public-Private Project at the YMCA to build a Gym or an Outdoor Pool for $3M to $4M of taxpayer monies matched by $3 or $4M Private Monies?

A NO on a $7.2M Bond, $8.7M Public Monies plus $350K a year 56 Day Water Park would be a YES for "A Smarter Way" usage of our limited Community Recreational Capital. That would really give our community something unique that people from out of town that already have their own water parks might want to come to.

What do you think? Write your letters. Post your opinion on this site, and on your own Facebook page.

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