The AAA meeting on March 4th was incredibly productive, but still didn’t cover everything! But we got to our main goal of setting a plan out for us to follow given the budget and the consultant’s study.
The proposed budget identifies about $22 million for Chinquapin in FY 2017 and FY 2018. It also has $2.3 million for Warwick in FY 2017. Also as you know, the City’s consultant study has changed its estimate for a 50-meter pool from $20 million to $30+ million. At that price, it would be harder to get to a 50-meter pool. However, the AAA Board met and agreed on a multi-prong approach to still reach that goal. A quick overview is:
o Explore the possibility of a staged approach to the 50-meter pool.
The consultant assumes a brick building housing the pool. We want to see if there are other versions that could be done – start with an open 50-meter pool (we’re not advocating this – just a starting point) and then go to a pool with a bubble as the next step. Then to a pool with a structured membrane over it – then to a pool with a solid building around it but with less features. Looking at all of those stages could give the City, the Council, and the public a better idea of what could be done to get a 50-meter pool. We are meeting with the City and the consultant next week on this.o Joint venture with Arlington
– we received word that some of the Arlington County Commissioners are interested in some joint venture with Alexandria on aquatics (they had bet on the DC Olympic bid getting them money and that failed). Maybe a combination of resources between the two jurisdictions would get a 50 meter pool, plus a therapy pool. They need to come up with innovative solutions to placate their electorate – this may give them an out. Lots of challenges, but could be interesting.o More funds from Council
– the City Manager’s proposed budget already closes the gap between the original $20 million and the $30 million by showing about $22 million for Chinquapin. If we can trim some costs off the $30 million side, maybe Council would be facing a $5 million deficit rather than a $8 to $10 million one.
o Private Sector fund raising – we will continue that but ask for pledges now rather than actual donations – at least until a decision is made on the 50-meter pool.
There are challenges with all of these, but also a very real possibility of solving a sticky problem.
Just as an aside, our group will be working with others to get Warwick put back in the 2016 timeframe.
Please let me know if you have any questions.