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Thread: MOA Proposition #4

  1. #1

    Default MOA Proposition #4

    I thought I would post this comment urging the Kayak community to consider support for MOA Proposition #4 in the upcoming election. Service Pool is currently one of the pools utilized for Kayak training.

    The Service Pool was closed last summer "indefinitely" due to repair issues. After outcry from the local swimming community, the pool was re-opened temporarily and a bond issue was put together for the repairs. If this bond proposition does not pass, it is likely that Service Pool will be closed.

    Swimming education is in my view a public safety issue. My youngest daughter was half way through swimming lessons when the pool was closed last summer. Unfortunately, we were not able to continue lessons over at West high (where they moved to) largely due to logistics.

    Last summer as we kayaked around elephant island in kachemak bay and ventured out of the protected bay and into the surf, my 6 year old initially thought it was fun boucing on the waves - until they started to break ahead of the kayak and we started getting wet. As I got us turned around and back into the protected waters, I thought about how although she knows how to get out of the kayak if we were to have overturned and we both had our life vests on, she really needs to finish up swim lessons and get proficient in swimming before we do that again. This is a public safety issue.

    Please carefully consider this Bond Issue and if you consider it worthy, please help spread the word.

    Thanks,

    Hiker

  2. #2
    Mark
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hiker View Post
    ....The Service Pool was closed last summer "indefinitely" due to repair issues. After outcry from the local swimming community, the pool was re-opened temporarily and a bond issue was put together for the repairs. If this bond proposition does not pass, it is likely that Service Pool will be closed.
    Classic springtime "crisis" funding by the school district. It's like clockwork every spring.

    Why should the taxpayer be continually selling bonds for maintenance and repair?

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Classic springtime "crisis" funding by the school district. It's like clockwork every spring.
    It's not a school district issue, Mark. The pools are attached to the school buildings, but are operated and maintained by the Municipality.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Classic springtime "crisis" funding by the school district. It's like clockwork every spring.

    Why should the taxpayer be continually selling bonds for maintenance and repair?
    The Pools are operated by the Municipality. They have not been under the School District for several years now. The administration wants to close both Service and Bartlett pools permanently. In the case of Service, there are major repairs required and without bonding, they will mothball this facility.

    I , like yourself, will review all the bond propositions carefully and vote only for those that I feel are appropriate, necessary, and worthy of the associated funding.

    Hiker
    "Happiness is a warm gun - bang bang, shoot shoot!"
    -Lennon/McCartney

  5. #5
    Mark
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    Well, I stand partially corrected, and I still ask why bonds need to be sold to fund maintenance and repair?

    Maintenance and repair, for the most part, should be budgeted expenses, shouldn't they?

  6. #6
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default learning to swim

    This is a very important point,,
    almost 30 years ago I was living in Wyoming.
    I was a young scout master and had a group of young men from the Ranching community near Evanston.
    These folks live in high desert and the elevations that most of these families lived was well over 7,000 feet. They had short summers, and hard winters. They also had very few places to swim. All of my boys did not know how to swim. they had played in stock ponds and shallow streams, but non knew how to swim.
    In order for a scout to advance in rank, he needs to know how to swim and pass his swimming merit badge, also his life saving merit badge requires good swim skills.
    In order to get these young men to a pool, was a 50 mile one way trip for some of them, and the shortest was around 25 miles..
    It was a lot of work to get them to the pool, but over the course of several months, we were able to get them all to pass the merit badges and they became fair to good swimmers.
    At scout camp that next summer, 4 of my 9 scouts decided to pass the one mile swim test... they all acheived this. It was hard for them as they had not had the opportunity to be close where they could swim.
    It may take some effort to get your kids to a place where they can swim, but I believe this is the most important ingredient in surviving alaska waters.
    A life jacket may keep you afloat, but learning how to swim will get you to shore. And give you confidence in being able to save others.
    Please folks, take the effort it takes to get your families to a pool and proper instruction.
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  7. #7

    Default Maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Well, I stand partially corrected, and I still ask why bonds need to be sold to fund maintenance and repair?

    Maintenance and repair, for the most part, should be budgeted expenses, shouldn't they?
    Mark,

    I agree with you conceptually that maintenance should be funded through operating budgets - not bond issues.

    However, my understanding is that in the case of Service Pool, a maintenance project was funded out of the O&M budget last year, the pool was drained and during the maintenance the need for major repair was uncovered. Should MOA have been stowing away funding for major maintence? Maybe, but I like many get up at arms when my taxes increase and MOA is sitting around with Million$ in various "rainy day" accounts (which is what it would take to ensure funding for this type of repair). I personally would prefer if they didn't have million$ hidden away in accounts waiting for a rainy day, but instead when the rainy day arrives, present the case for funding for us taxpayers to consider. (BTW, my information on Service Pool largely comes from a public meeting held earlier last year to try to get the pool re-opened on a temporary basis, prior to the creation of this bond issue).

    I believe that in the case with Service Pool, the pool repair issue was largely an unforseeable item and deferred pool maintenance is not the issue.

    As far as the other bond issues go, I am not familiar enough yet with the details to form and educated opinion and comment.

    Personally, I think that providing and maintaining facilities for swimming education is money well spent in Alaska wtih all the water based recreational activities which we all enjoy.

    Hiker

  8. #8
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiker View Post
    Mark,

    I agree with you conceptually that maintenance should be funded through operating budgets - not bond issues.

    However, my understanding is that in the case of Service Pool, a maintenance project was funded out of the O&M budget last year, the pool was drained and during the maintenance the need for major repair was uncovered. Should MOA have been stowing away funding for major maintence? Maybe, but I like many get up at arms when my taxes increase and MOA is sitting around with Million$ in various "rainy day" accounts (which is what it would take to ensure funding for this type of repair). I personally would prefer if they didn't have million$ hidden away in accounts waiting for a rainy day, but instead when the rainy day arrives, present the case for funding for us taxpayers to consider.....
    Maybe that's how this has gotten to this point.

    I'm fairly familiar with maintenance and repair budgets. BIG ones. I don't consider estimated maintenance and repair budgets to be "hidden".

    Repair can be and is budgeted in many cases, but politics might make that no longer feasible.

    My previous exposure to this type of "budgeting" was more akin to spending all the money you've been budgeted on pet projects and social spending, then when something breaks, you have a need that can be pointed at which literally cries out for more money, which is usually found. This "deferred maintenance" budgeting ideology has become standard fare throughout American society.

    So if this is the way maintenance and repair is to be funded, I guess we should all be prepared for those occasional cases where multi-million dollar facilities must sit unused because we can't politically squeeze out enough money to maintain and repair them.

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