The Maumelle Monitor reported that I spoke in favor of an indoor pool at the last City Council meeting. Evidently I did not make myself clear, so let me be clear now. I am NOT in favor of Maumelle taking on the up-front and continuing cost of an indoor pool at this time.
I did say that I understand that a therapy pool would benefit seniors and that competitive swimmers would like an indoor pool for year-round training. However, the real question isn’t whether or not folks would like an indoor pool. Clearly, many would. The real question before the Council is "Can Maumelle afford one?" I think not. It has been asserted that the various charges for activities at an indoor pool would definitely cover its operational costs. But that assertion has not been accompanied by credible proof. Other Arkansas towns have had to raise taxes to cover the costs of an indoor pool. Some communities that have built a pool have had to drain and close it due to a lack of funding.
Just like families, cities have to budget for known needs, and they have to have enough financial reserves to cover unanticipated expenses. Maumelle also needs to have enough money to pursue important steps in our Strategic Plan for the future. To do otherwise would be to waste the investment already made in that project and to short-change the better future that Maumelle could have.
Would I like an indoor pool? Sure. I’d also like a personal chef. But the sad fact is that neither the City nor I can finance those "wants."