A Foster’s Community Commentary from December 9th:
HELLO POOL LOVERS!
The Town of Durham is at a crucial point in talks with UNH about the fate of the Outdoor Pool. While precise plans are unclear, one thing we know is that if townspeople do not speak out, WE WILL HAVE NO POOL THIS SUMMER.
Information about the pool’s current status, including the DHR documentation and the town’s contract with the university, can now be viewed under the Documents tab on the website.
Please consider attending the Town Council meeting on Monday November 18. According to the posted agenda, there will be two opportunities to speak out about the pool.
If you want to support the pool with comments about something other than the pool’s place in the budget, at around 7:05pm, after the opening of the meeting, you can get on line to speak for no more than the permitted 5 minutes.
Next, if you plan to speak in support of the town participating in funding for the pool, the appropriate place to do that is during the Public Hearing on the budget that will take place later on the agenda (listed under Unfinished Business on Page 2).
WE ARE HOPING FOR A BIG TURNOUT…. SEE YOU THERE; BRING YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS!
IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND THE TOWN COUNCIL MEETING, CONSIDER WRITING A LETTER OR EMAIL TO ADMINISTRATOR TODD SELIG AND THE TOWN COUNCIL MEMBERS.
FUNHOP recommends the following points but feel free to add your own thoughts and opinions about WHY THE OUTDOOR POOL IS SO CRUCIAL TO OUR COMMUNITY AND WHY IT SHOULD NOT BE CLOSED THIS SUMMER.
For example…you could:
Ask that the town offer UNH the opportunity to lease the pool to the town, thereby removing issues of liability from UNH’s plate.
Support the $270,000 that Selig included as part of the proposed 2014 budget to “potentially be utilized as a long-term, annual municipal contribution toward the upgrade and future operation of the pool.” This would result in raising tax rates by .28 cents per thousand.
Stress the importance of having the pool open for summer 2014. It must not close. Point out that the pool is in the same condition it was in last summer when there were no accidents and water testing (done four times a day) showed nothing but pristine conditions. The pool should not be closed before its ultimate fate is decided.
Ask that the town hold UNH to the terms of the contract between itself and the university. The contract expires on December 31, 2015 and requires a one-year notification if it is not able to open for any reason. The notification of closure letter sent by UNH VP Mark Rubinstein to Todd is dated November 1, 2013.
Ask the Town Council to review all contracts and MOUs between the town and the university – fire, police, use of the Depot lot, Jackson Landing, etc. to determine if changes should be considered.
Mention that if we lose the pool, we lose a true community center. This loss together with all the changes in our downtown gives one the sense that we are losing what has made Durham special to many of us.