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Laura Lynne Wyatt

Why build a new community center/aquatic park and not just a swimming pool?

As president of Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District Board of Directors, I hear questions from residents regarding Measure R. Over the last several months, with input from residents of all ages, staff, community leaders and the Board of Directors, a Facilities Needs Analysis was prepared. This identifies repairs needed to existing facilities and the desire for new recreation. Surveys showed the overwhelming desire for an aquatics center with indoor and outdoor lap swim, water therapy and children’s area.

The way to fulfill these needs and still make financial sense is by placing pools, gym space, meeting rooms and senior recreational opportunities all under one roof. For example, if you have an aquatics facility within the same building as meeting/banquet rooms, the income generated from use of the banquet facilities can aid with some of the pool costs. You’ll notice many large community recreation centers being constructed all over the country for these reasons. Measure R is intended to address the needs and desires of Greater Tehachapi. Measure R is a $43 million general obligation bond program. After almost 60 years of service to Tehachapi, this is the first time TVRPD has requested an increase from residents.

Our current pool (Dye Natatorium) was constructed in 1968. When a repair is needed, finding any replacement parts for lights or equipment has become both costly and difficult. The District loses over $41,000 per year to maintain and keep this old, stand alone, facility operational. In addition, many other facilities need upgrading such as ballfields, playgrounds, restrooms, water conservation fixtures and electrical.

Providing functional and sustainable recreation opportunities is the Districts daily responsibility. Cost recovery shows responsibility to stick to a budget and spend resident’s money wisely. If you live within TVRPD’s District Boundary, you will see Measure R on your ballot this November.

To quote a dear friend of mine, “If not us, then who and if not now, then when”? Our wonderful community became what it is today because residents came together in the years past and invested in our future. It’s time for us to do the same and vote YES on Measure R.

See the entire plan under Revitalization tab at TVRPD.org

Laura Lynne Wyatt is the TVRPD board president and a Tehachapi area resident of more than 20 years.