On August 6th, 2019, Estherville residents will have the opportunity to vote whether to use an already existing general obligation bond for the purpose of funding a new community pool.
On the surface, the special election ballot is about whether Estherville should use an existing general obligation bond to fund a new swimming pool. But this special election ballot isn’t just about the pool itself; in reality, the special election ballot is really about whether Estherville prefers to progress toward the future or to remain living in the past: a “yes” vote is a vote to move toward the future, while a “no” vote is a vote to remain in the past.
The existing swimming pool, built over one-half century ago, is unusable because it leaks over 20,000 gallons of water per day. Fundamental components of the pool’s original structure, which possessed a life expectancy of only 40 years, are in poor condition. Simply put, renovating or repairing the existing pool, which has not been operational during the previous two summer seasons, is simply not practical, primarily due to the poor condition of the concrete vessel and basin itself.
And that’s not because I or anyone else said so: rather, that’s because trained experts in pool engineering and architecture say so, as evidenced by their reports, which local government leaders have posted online.
No one disagrees that $4.1 million dollars is a lot of money. It is. But continually pouring taxpayer money into an old leaking pool with a crumbling and deteriorating foundation is short-sighted and foolish.
Despite the compelling evidence justifying the construction of a new community pool, a handful of individuals in our community, whom I refer to as the Negativity Committee, would like you to believe that the need for a new pool is based on a conspiracy of “lies.” These individuals — who, incidentally, complain about nearly everything our community leaders do — prefer to “save the pool” or to otherwise assert that our community doesn’t really need a pool until local government leaders “bring jobs to Estherville.”
Naked criticism is all the naysayers in our community offer: nothing more, and nothing less. Whether they realize it or not — and whether they acknowledge it or not — they prefer to live in, and long for, the past with all of its original and outdated amenities: the old pool; the old school buildings; the old Morrell packing plant, together with its old jobs; old demographics; the old one-way alleys; and the “old way of doing things.” Rarely, if ever, do our community naysayers offer any concrete, substantive solutions, for it’s too much work to build new ones — including a community pool.
Yes, there’s a lot at stake on August 6th, 2019. The vote isn’t just about whether to use an existing bond to fund a new community pool; rather, it’s about whether we prefer Estherville to be a community that moves forward into the future or remains living in its past.