Government & Politics  June 4, 2024

Johnstown council pushes aquatics center discussion to July

JOHNSTOWN — The Town Council will take another pass at discussion on building a $29.5 million aquatics center. 

After a lengthy presentation and discussion on Monday, the council opted to bring the issue back for a work session on July 8. The biggest stumbling block to the idea for an outdoor pool center, which would include slides, a lap pool and a lazy river, is the price tag. Consultants say the best option to funding the center would be a sales tax. A citizens committee that formed to study the idea came up with an idea for a 1% sales tax, which could raise up to $4.1 million, said Council Member Dianne Morris. Yet the pool would have to be subsidized by the town for the first five years. Still, however, there is little to no chance a center would be profitable for the town, much like golf courses and parks.

“We spend $2 million a year on our parks, and we haven’t started to charge people for entry,” said Town Manager Matt LeCerf. “There are three things that always lose money: golfing, pools and parks. They’re all subsidized, but that is what the community wants to enhance” their community living.

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Local teenagers brought the idea to the council more than a year ago, and while there are some clear divisions among the council, Mayor Pro Tem Chad Young said he didn’t want the idea to lose momentum. 

Mayor Michael Duncan asked consultants about the potential for combining uses at the center to make it work for more residents, from seniors to teens. The council will look at such a plan consultants are working on in Dallas, to get a better understanding of a combined use.

As presented, the concept plan covers about eight acres with a capacity of 600 people, with potential for expansion.

Some residents turned out for public comment on the plan. Chris Prather said he was concerned about the noise that would accompany the center that would be adjacent to his neighborhood. He also said he was concerned about the impacts to wildlife in the area.

​​”The last thing I want is to have my wonderful view, and my neighbors’ view and my peace and quiet disturbed,” Prather said. “We’ll have to have our windows closed during the day and at night.”

The Johnstown Town Council will take another pass at discussion on building a $29.5 million aquatics center.

Sharon Dunn
Sharon Dunn is an award-winning journalist covering business, banking, real estate, energy, local government and crime in Northern Colorado since 1994. She began her journalism career in Alaska after graduating Metropolitan State College in Denver in 1992. She found her way back to Colorado, where she worked at the Greeley Tribune for 25 years. She has a master's degree in communications management from the University of Denver. She is married and has one grown daughter — and a beloved English pointer at her side while she writes. When not writing, you may find her enjoying embroidery and crochet projects, watching football, or kayaking and birdwatching on a high-mountain lake.
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