After the favorable vote on Measure 3-516 in May to establish the Molalla Aquatic District (whose sole purpose is to run the aquatic center), the members of the district's newly formed board are hard at work to get the pool reopened by November when the tax funds will be available."It will open in November," said board member Teresa Steinbock. "The district is committed also to the high school swim team, which starts in November. So that's a push for it as well."
The board held a special meeting July 19 to look over pages of personnel policies and procedures before voting at the regular meeting on July 25 at 7 p.m., which is open to the public. The board members are trying to learn how to address these policies and several similar items before the pool can open.
"Our first project was to make sure we got our paperwork in so that we could receive our revenue," said President Paula Beck.In the short time since the measure passed, the volunteer board members have completed that project and more.
"We're brand new," Beck said. "I think Neal is the only one that's served on a board before."
To accomplish the necessary steps before opening, the board has enlisted the help of Kathy Stallkamp, president of the Tigard/Tualatin Aquatic District. In many ways, they're using that district as a model for Molalla.
A next step is to negotiate a lease with the school district, who owns the facility. Board members expect that to be a smooth process.
"They're so for it," Steinbock said. "I don't think it's going to be hard."
Another goal of the district is to hire a pool director before November, whose expertise would be essential in the final steps before opening. The board is considering options on how to go about this since the funds won't be available until November.
Beck, board member Marilyn Block, Friends of the Molalla Pool secretary Geri Monroe and many others have dedicated their time to the task of reopening the pool since before it even closed in August 2014.
"I just wanted to see it up and running again and be there to service the people who paid to build it," said board member Claire Ferland.
Getting a pool in 2001 was a huge feat for the town of Molalla.
"It took 50 years for us to get our pool — more actually," Beck said. "But we got there, and we want to open it and use it."
The nonprofit organization Friends of Molalla Pool will continue its support of the aquatic center. They plan to hold fundraisers, including a yard sale in August, according to Monroe. She hopes that they will be able to help fund swimming lessons for families who can't afford them.
While the board presses on, knee-deep in work to be done, members of the community can likely look forward to diving into a survey to be published at molallapool.com and on the Friends of Molalla Pool Facebook page. The idea of a survey is still in the works, but is expected to include questions about what kinds of offerings people would like to see once the pool is open. Members of the public are also invited to attend the district's public meetings on the fourth Tuesday of every month.