Don't Close the Paul Nelson Aquatic Center
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The City of Santa Maria is considering closing the Paul Nelson Aquatic Center until next spring. The pool was just resurfaced with approximately $800,000 from a HUD Community Block Development Grant and now it is on the chopping block. Please support this petition and send letters to the members of the Santa Maria City Council in support of opening Paul Nelson Aquatic Center. Your best support will be signing and sharing this petition with friends and damily and contacting the City Council. Any donation made on this site stays with change.org and does not go towards the AquaticCenter, but you can share and write letters at no cost to you.
PNAC offers many services that either can't be found elsewhere or are difficult or expensive for community members to replace (and often that expense won't be paid within the city- so the tax revenue would also go elsewhere, and not likely return).
If they close the doors to the Aquatic Center until next spring our community will lose so much more than a pool for this summer. We lose the drowning prevention that occurs when kids take swimming lessons, we lose the ability for our community to exercise in lap swim and exercise classes that are affordable and cannot be replaced, we lose training for future lifeguards, and CPR certifications.
Remember, the pool must be maintained whether swimmers are in it or not. Offers have been made to the city to help with their staffing costs (which is the biggest piece of the pool budget), and if they put the Santa Maria Swim Club and OneWay Water Polo out of business they will lose their largest consistent source of revenue, and yes, if they close the pool til next April that is a distinct possibility.
If people must find new places to participate in these activities, the city will lose an entire revenue stream that will not be solved by this shutdown as the athletic teams may close permanently and community members may not return once they leave the programs.
One of the City's goals is to support youth development by providing a youth center and a broad range of safe, affordable, and accessible activities for the youth of the Santa Maria Valley. Closing the pool robs our youth of these options and will bring about more insidious costs like that the increased costs created by juvenile delinquency and a decrease in the physical and mental health of the youth in the community.
Swimming at outdoor centers in chlorinated pools is one of the safest athletic activities that is available during this Covid-19 time. Other cities in our own county have opened their pools (Santa Barbara) and pools are opening in cities, states, and countries around the world. It would be awful to have this newly renovated pool closed to our community.
We should not close a budget by taking successful programs and services away from the youth of our community. There are other ways to help the budget, even within the pool budget itself, but closing Paul Nelson Aquatic Center is BAD for the Santa Maria community.
*any donation made to change.org goes to promote the petition and not directly to the cause of saving the pool. All support efforts are appreciated, especially when you share directly with your friends and family.
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Geri Coats needs your help with “City of Santa Maria: Don't Close the Paul Nelson Aquatic Center Community Pools Matter!”. Join Geri and 4,223 supporters today.