How should we define community in Boulder City? I believe our community is certainly larger than the sum of the parts that make up the town. Parts of the community have a greater impact than others of course. One of the parts is the municipal pool that was built soon after Boulder City became a municipality in 1960. The original pool was replaced around 1980 with the existing pool. After 40 years, it is not surprising the current pool facility is in very poor condition.
During this election, citizens are being asked to approve two ballot questions regarding funding for the pool. Neither of the questions would result in any tax increase. There have been significant efforts over the past year to scale back the project voters rejected two years ago that would have resulted in a tax increase. In fact, the cost has been nearly cut in half from two years ago by making the project fit our community rather than a project that would not be needed here.
The first ballot question is for approval to use $7 million from the capital improvement fund. This fund currently has more than $13 million. This fund receives revenue each year from the leasing of land primarily for solar projects. The current portion of lease money going into the fund is more $3 million per year.
That amount will increase with new solar projects coming on line and lease terms that increase revenue each year.
The second ballot question asks citizens to direct 90 percent of possible revenue from the sale of land around the Boulder Creek golf course. The other 10 percent of the land sale would fund public safety needs for our police and fire departments. This land was originally approved for sale by voters in 2010. The land was not sold and the cost of the golf course was paid for with other revenue.
The city has also received a very generous donation of $1.3 million from the estate of an anonymous donor to be used for the pool. These three sources of revenue are likely to be sufficient to replace the existing pool at an estimated cost of $21 million. The City Council also recently approved reserving up to $1 million annually for five years, if needed.
I understand these are large amounts of money. I have also heard from a few residents that a pool is not needed or that people can go Henderson if they want to use a pool. Some have said we have other more important projects to be done. The facts are that there are important projects being done now and will continue to be done over the next several years.
The City Council recently determined that utility rates could be reduced and still continue with the needed improvements that are already underway or planned to start soon.
Even with all the hardships the COVID-19 pandemic has burdened us with, our city has the means to do several projects at a time. Each of us may not benefit directly from a particular project but all of us do benefit by making Boulder City a community that we can enjoy and call home.
We should not let important assets of our community waste away. Many of us who grew up here know how much the municipal pool was an important part of our lives as children. Each generation over the past 60 years has benefited from a municipal pool and we can keep this important part of our community while doing many other things that are needed.
I believe the municipal pool is an important part of our community that is needed. After 40 years, the existing pool requires replacement for many reasons. By voting yes on the two ballot questions, we can make Boulder City a better community for all of us. As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, we can look toward a better future by continuing to improve our city.
The opinions expressed above belong solely to the author and do not represent the views of the Boulder City Review. They have been edited solely for grammar, spelling and style, and have not been checked for accuracy of the viewpoints.
Kiernan McManus is mayor of Boulder City. He is a native of Boulder City first elected to City Council in 2017.