A press release from City Hall alerts us to the fact that the City of Yakima Parks and Recreation Commission will seek community input for the Martin Luther King Jr. Park pool feasibility study during its regular meeting at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, March 13th.

City Spokesman Randy Beehler, in a recent phone call, told KIT's Lance Tormey that he didn't think the City would have available "pool money" for a couple of years.

Councilmember Kay Funk, the City Council’s liaison to the Parks and Recreation Commission says,“I look forward to hearing comments and questions from the public during the Commission’s meeting.”

Okay.  Let's hope so.

The City of Yakima has hired the consulting firm Counsilman-Hunsaker to conduct the feasibility study. Miklos Valdez from that firm will make a presentation during the March 13th meeting, followed by an opportunity for the community to comment.

I think it's fair to ask if now is the time to consider another pool.

At a time when the prevailing message from City Hall is tight budgets, budget cuts, low reserves, other projects that can't be accomplished and  "we have to live within or means". etc., are the financial costs of building, operating and upkeep of a pool even within the realm of possibility?  I suppose that's what a feasibility "study" will reveal....UNLESS...the study is merely cover and a formality with the pool being a lock already and this process designed to provide the justification.  Yes I'm skeptical. In going forward, a new pool has to be an affordable necessity and not a social justice equalizer and yes, that is my concern.

During its regular meeting on January 15th, 2019, the Yakima City Council agreed to a feasibility study contract with Counsilman-Hunsaker. The cost for the study is not to exceed $35,000. It will be paid for with Real Estate Excise Tax 1 funds.

Terms of the feasibility study contract include identifying three possible schematic designs for a community outdoor pool at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, as well as construction and operational costs for each of the pool designs.

The Parks and Recreation Commission meets in Council Chambers at Yakima City Hall, 129 North 2nd Street. The meeting will be televised live on Y-PAC, Charter Cable Channel 194, and streamed live on the City’s website  https://www.yakimawa.gov/council/live-stream/ .