State Sen. Hawkins Organizing Discussion on Regional Aquatic Center
State Senator Brad Hawkins is organizing discussions among local governments in the Wenatchee Valley to consider building a regional aquatic center.
The Wenatchee City Pool has served as a hub for swim activity in the area, but it was built in 1965 and needs about $2 million in repairs over the short term.
Hawkins secured more than half a million dollars in state money for the pool this year but thinks more communities should share responsibility for water recreation.
"I don't really think it's fair that everybody from East Wenatchee, for example, goes over into Wenatchee to utilize the Wenatchee pool facilities, and that the city of Wenatchee taxpayers are tasked with the responsibility of maintaining the pool," said Hawkins.
Hawkins says he's had positive conversations with the mayors of Wenatchee and East Wenatchee, and now plans for a much larger group discuss about a regional aquatic center at the Confluence Technology Center next month.
In a news release, he said the aquatic center could include an Olympic-sized outdoor pool to replace the Wenatchee City Pool, a zero-entry children’s pool, splash pad, and water slides along with ample parking, picnic, and restroom facilities.
He's also planning to use his seat in the state legislature to move the concept forward.
"One of the ideas that I think this could lead to is sponsoring a bill authorizing local governments to form a regional aquatics district," Hawkins said.
Hawkins envisions an aquatics district where residents could vote on a small sales tax increase to finance a regional aquatics center.
As a possible location for the aquatic center, Hawkins is suggesting the undeveloped 283-acre “Wenatchi Landing” area in Douglas County, just south of the Odabashian Bridge.
Hawkins secured $4 million in state funding for the Douglas County Sewer District to be extended into the area a few years ago. He envisions an aquatic center in Wenatchi Landing as part of a mix with hotels, restaurants and retail space.
His planned conference at Confluence Technology Center is set for September 15.