CARD still talking about a parcel tax or property assessment to build aquatic center – now they say they might fix Shapiro instead, but they’re going to get a tax one way or the other

5 Jun

While I’ve been chasing the elusive new non-profit group formed to discuss building a “megacility” in Chico, Chico Area Recreation District has put their “Aquatic Facility Advisory Committee” to bed.  But, even after having had to reduce staff to make ends meet, the  board is still talking about floating a parcel tax or property assessment to build an aquatic center.   According to the Enterprise Record and CARD board member Tom Lando, the board is finally talking out loud about an  alternative –  “rebuilding and expanding Shapiro Pool.”  That discussion has fallen along the wayside for too long – in 2009 a consultant told them that pool was in bad need of attention.

I don’t believe Lando, or Sneed or Mulowney are sincere about fixing Shapiro. They have been pursuing the aquatic center, along with ex-CARD staffer and board member Jerry Hughes.  In the article below, Lando admits, “ I think the community needs a facility including a decent pool,” Lando said.

wow, “a facility including a decent pool…”   Is he talking about a “megacility“?

I’ve been in touch with CARD director Ann Willmann about the “event” sponsored by everybodyhealthybody.org at Lakeside Pavilion. EBHB is a “non-profit” made up of a couple of out-of-town consultants and a board of local folks who’ve been involved with Chico Swim Association/Aqua Jets.  I asked Willmann how much they paid to use the Pavilion. It took her a week to respond,

“Hi Juanita, the group paid $500 for their 5 hour rental. Thank you, Ann”

I replied, asking her where I could find the rental information for the Pavilion – the CARD website only posts a picture of it and says it’s available, there’s no rate schedule or description of exactly what you get. She never got back to me on that inquiry, so I e-mailed CARD “facilities manager” Ed Johnson.

Hi Mr. Johnson,

 I would like the rates for rental of Lakeside Pavilion, weekdays, per hour, deposit, etc.

 At your convenience, thank you for your anticipated response, Juanita Sumner

He also took forever to get back to me, I had to e-mail him again before I got this response.

Lakeside Prices are as fallows. [sic]

 It is a $500 deposit that is refundable to you. For a Saturday it is $3400 separate from the deposit and for a Friday or a Sunday it is $2800 separate from the deposit. We can do an hourly rate which is the same deposit and has a minimum of 8 hours and that is $225 per hour. Sorry for the delay in getting the too you have a great Friday.

Was I not clear? I thought I asked him for week day rates.   A friend of mine who I’d cc’d had to ask again.

Mr. Johnson,  I don’t see rates for weekdays or weeknights at Lakeside Pavilion.  Do you have a published rate card anywhere?

To which he replied,

“Lakeside is $225 Per hour weekdays and weeknights. There is no discounted rate for this building.

My friend didn’t know what to make of what seemed like evasiveness – or what, incompetence? – on the part of the facilities manager. I think we both asked pretty clear questions – did he read our e-mails before responding?  But I had my answer – the regular rate is $225, and there’s an 8 hour, or $1800 minimum, but EBHB was allowed to use it for $100/hour for five hours.

What gives? If I wanted to rent that place you know they’d stick it to me. Look at those rates.  Whose friend do you have to be to get it for $100/hour, no minimum? Sounds like a good question for Ann Willmann.

Hi Ms. Willman, 

I contacted Ed Johnson, who told me that rental for the Pavilion during the week is $225/hour.  He also mentioned a minimum of eight hours, but I’m not sure if that applies to week nights or just weekends.
I’d like to know, who authorized the rental of the Pavilion for $100/hour for Everybody Healthy Body?  Did the board approve this, and if so, where can I find the minutes to that meeting? 
When and where can I view communications between Everybody, Healthy Body, and CARD?

Thank you again for your anticipated cooperation, Juanita Sumner

We’ll see if she gets back to me.

Aquatic center still a question for CARD

Staff Reports

CHICO >> Even with the budget’s positives and negatives, the Chico Area Recreation and Park District board still faces its biggest decision: Whether to pursue an aquatics center.

Long in its master plan and recommended by an ad hoc committee, an aquatics center is still a question mark for the board.

Director Tom Lando said last week he was still wrestling with building a proposed aquatic center or rebuilding and expanding Shapiro Pool, which the board ha s closed down last year because of age and repair problems. Earlier this year, a consultant and an ad hoc committee offered recommendations on an aquatics center. The consultant’s recommendation included a 30- meter by 25- yard pool, while many on the committee wanted a 50- meter pool.

Any of the several prop o sa l de si g n s wou ld mean additional costs to CARD. None of the proposals or designs offered by the consultant would bring in enough revenue to cover operational and maintenance costs.

As far as paying for the construction of an aquatics center, a consultant suggested choosing between a set per- parcel tax or a ‘ benefits assessment” tax on property owners based on property valuation. Those affected would either vote on the measures in a general election or by a mailed ballot, respectively.

Preparing for either option would cost CARD about $ 65,000 for consultant services, General Manager Ann Willmann said.

“ I think the community needs a facility including a decent pool,” Lando said. And, if CARD wasn’t going to pursue a new aquatic center, he wanted to see more money helping with the renovation of Shapiro Pool or to the Humboldt Neighborhood skateboard park renovation.

Lando said he also thought the board should pursue the update of the master plan with all the big projects it has been discussing, not all of which are included in the current plan.

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One Response to “CARD still talking about a parcel tax or property assessment to build aquatic center – now they say they might fix Shapiro instead, but they’re going to get a tax one way or the other”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. What is “entitlement”? CARD director rents Lakeside Pavilion to aquatic center supporters for less than a third of the regular rate | Chico Taxpayers Association - June 27, 2016

    […] CARD still talking about a parcel tax or property assessment to build aquatic center – now the… […]

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