Bond to bring pool and YMCA to Woodland fails to meet voter approval
WOODLAND — A resolution that would have enacted a $7,990,000 bond to fund a new pool and YMCA complex in Woodland failed during the Nov. 7 General Election.
The bond was placed on the ballot as a result of an agreement in Dec. 2016 between the Woodland Community Swimming Pool Committee (WCSPC) and the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette.
The bond would have covered 49 percent of the cost of the new pool and community center, and would have had a duration of 20 years.
In an August press release from the WCSPC announcing the bond measure, it was stated that the bond would have cost each property owner in the Woodland Pool and Recreational District, which shares boundaries with the Woodland School District, 35 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property value.
The bond measure was voted on by Woodland residents in both Clark and Cowlitz counties. As of Nov. 8, 319 votes in Clark County were received, and 52.04 percent voted against the bond. In Cowlitz County, 1,949 ballots had been cast, and 55.76 percent of voters voted against the bond.
Benno Dobbe, chairman of the Woodland Swimming Pool Steering Committee and owner of Woodland business Holland America Flowers, has been a long-time proponent of building a pool in Woodland.
Dobbe expressed thanks towards those that supported the bond measure, and acknowledged that the vote did not go as the WCSPC wished. However, he remained optimistic about building a pool in Woodland.
“I think we need to go back to the voters and address their concerns,” Dobbe said.
According to Dobbe, Woodland residents were not against the construction of a pool, but rather the imposition of new, increased taxes. “People are definitely for this facility,” Dobbe said.
Going forward, Dobbe said proponents of the pool need to reach out to the community to determine both why people voted for the bond and why they voted against it.
“I feel pretty optimistic about the future,” Dobbe said.