The people involved with a grassroots effort in Pueblo West to build a new swimming facility hope they will have positive impact on this November’s ballot issue, helping local residents understand the issue and get it passed.
The Pueblo West Metropolitan District Board of Directors just approved the language for a November ballot issue in which the District will ask for a “TABOR timeout.”
In doing so, that money for the next 10 years would be used solely for the Pueblo West swimming pool.
The grassroots effort now has more than 100 people behind it, local folks who are rallying for a new swimming facility to be built in Pueblo West to replace the very aged one currently in use.
“That pool was built 40 years ago when our population in Pueblo West was 1,500 people.
“Now it’s 30,000 and it’s time to bring our facilities into this century,” said Grant Shay, a local resident who has helped get the efforts going in the community.
Shay spoke to the Metro Directors last week and told him his desire to help make change came after his daughters went to the pool with a few other friends, but only some of the group was allowed in because the pool was at capacity.
It’s been an ongoing problem in the community for years.
“We went to having two sessions at least five years ago,” said Parks and Recreation Director Carol Cosby.
“It was a problem before that too, but we were looking for ways to better let more people in throughout the day.”
Currently, there is a 140-person cap for the pool. When session one ends, those people must exit the pool to let a new group in for session two.
Anyone from session one is welcome to go to the back of the admission line if they’d like to come back in if space allows.
The Pueblo West pool has also been through many costly fixes in the past couple of years, because of its deteriorating state. The Metro District previously applied for a Great Outdoors Colorado grant to do a “pool within a pool,” in which the current pool would be filled in with a new pool, but did not receive the grant.
“It would have reduced the capacity even more, and we’d put additional maintenance costs into the pool, which is kind of pointless after a while,” said Darrin Tangeman, District Manager.
“What not divert the funds to a newer facility with greater capacity?”
That was the idea behind the TABOR timeout, to help fund the cost of building a new pool or water facility. And that’s what Shay and many other community members are getting behind in a big way.
“It’s time to bring our community pool into the new century,” Shay told Directors.
“Walsenburg has a great water park – and they’re one-tenth the size of Pueblo West. Even people from Pueblo West drive there to go and play.
“If we had something like that here, we’d be bringing revenue here instead of having it go outside of Pueblo West.”
Shay started an online petition that Pueblo West residents can sign in support of building a new facility. Nearing 200 signatures, those behind the cause are hoping to get a lot more people behind them.
There is also a Facebook group for people interested in helping spread the word and educate residents about the TABOR timeout, to try and get the measure passed and work toward a new pool.
The petition is available on ipetitions.com, and the Facebook group can be found by searching “Work group for new Pueblo West pool” in the Facebook search bar, then requesting to join.