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Dearborn Pool Millage Will Not Appear in 2012 Elections

Save Our Pools is biding its time with the hopes that a city-wide millage to keep all eight pools open will be voted on in next year's elections.

Dearborn residents will have to wait another year to voice their opinion on the city's eight public pools, as a previously discussed city-wide millage is being postponed.

Only the neighborhood surrounding —which is currently closed, as part of —will be to determine if residents near the pool will pay for renovations and upkeep to the pool through taxes.

A millage–which would cover repair and operational costs for all eight city pools–had a chance to appear on this year's ballot, but will not make the appearance, accordint to the  Save Our Pools group, which has decided to bide its time until election season next year.

Ryan Woods of SOP said the group wanted to see city-wide millage on the ballot this November, but that can only occur if 3,500 signatures are collected for a petition, or if a member of city council proposes it. Woods said they did not pursue collecting 3,500 signatures this year. He added that despite , the council was unresponsive to introducing the idea as a ballot issue.

“We went up and presented the plan to (City Council) during the budget discussion then we came back to them after,” Woods said of the group's recommendation that council propose the millage. “Why do the rest of us have keep choosing to go down there?” 

No More SADs in 2012

Eric Peterson, deputy director of parks and recreation for the city, said that while the long-term future of the city's pools is not imminently clear, the six pools currently open will be open come next summer.

“We have six open this sumer as we did last year, and six are slated to open for the summer of 2013,” he said.

Early in the year when the outdoor pool cool committee met with SOP, Peterson said that an SAD vote for all the pools—except Ford Woods and Jack Dunworth which will continue to stay open regardless—appeared to be the best-received plan by the group.

“There were questions and concerns but everybody did agree that the Special Assessment District idea was the best at the time,” he said. “At the very tail end before budget approval and so forth, there was a vote taken, petition drive, petitions were collected."

But Woods said that even though enough signatures were collected for all six potential SADs, they were not turned in because of too many questions regarding the issue.

SOP decided that a city-wide millage would be more palatable.

“Across the city is cheaper—it's not divisive,” Woods said.

It's About Keeping Pools Open

According to the ballot for Hemlock's SAD vote, each residence would pay approximately $60 to $70 for renovations to the pool. A city-wide millage would only cost about $30 to $40 per residence, and couls would provide every Dearborn residence with city-wide pool tags.

Woods also stressed the importance of keeping pools open over renovating pools. Some renovations and proposed renovations to pools included in SAD votes are not necessary and not desired by the community, he said. 

“A lot of people are telling us, 'We just want a pool. We don't need a fancy L-shape, we don't need a rain drop sprinkler in there. We like what we have,'” Woods said. “We don't need a Ferrari, we like our Ford Taurus … but now (residents are) forced to pay ... $90,000 more for L-Shape”

He added that there is currently $40,000 in the city's budget allotted to demolishing the pools, so some residents fear that could be in the near future.

Peterson, however, said there is no indication that any pool is in danger of being demolished.

“Whitmore, at this point, has not opened and we have not demolished that,” he said. “There are no plans at this point for demolishing any of the pools.”

The Hemlock SAD coule reopen that pool by next summer. However, Peterson explained, if a city-wide millage for all the pools in Dearborn was passed in the future, it would supersede any SAD put into place.

Mark Lane of SOP said that from now until next year's election season, the group will be “enjoying the swimming this summer, making sure the residents understand how important these pools are to the community.”

He continued, saying that the future of the pools could be a decisive election in city council elections next fall.

“Honestly, next year is going to be a lot work … making sure the elected officials understand how important these pools are to these kids,” Lane said.

Cruisma July 30, 2012 at 12:18 PM
A while back there was an informal survey and, if I remember correctly, most people thought this problem should be solved by a 'pay for use' option. If those that use the pools, want the pools to remain, they should be the ones paying. A minimal fee for each entrance could cover these costs. We have lived here 12 years and have never used these pools, and don't plan on using them. Whay should we have to pay? This is just another redistribution of wealth forcing me to pay for something for someone else. Dearborn taxes are out of control now, I remember when I lived here as a child under Mayor Hubbard - people moved here for the low taxes and great services, now we have neither.
becki kain July 30, 2012 at 12:59 PM
I agree with Cruisma. I can't use the Dearborn Rec pool any longer, because they have no adult lap swim in the summer. Why should I pay higher taxes for kids to have both all of the indoor pool and 8 outdoor pools?
Frank Lee July 30, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Dearborn Patch has become nothing more than a sounding board for self loathing pathetic racists and authoritarin blowhards. News flash... every single tax is a redistribution of income, that is the entire purpose behind taxation and the foundation of government since Babaloyn. I would rather have my taxes redistributed to support children's rec than new offices for Government officials or another jail. These pools have been part of the tradition of Dearborn summers for over 50 years, how can this city afford to give away City Hall to a bunch of Freeloaders called ArtSpace and give the shaft to our children. The same children who will someday pay the taxes that support your Medicare.
Criss July 30, 2012 at 04:52 PM
The people who use the pools do pay for them, either through a seasonal pass or a per use fee. The revenue is not enough for the required repairs and maintenance. One option would be to raise the fees to a point where the pools would become revenue neutral, but my guess is that the loss of patrons would quicken the closing of the pools. The Save Our Pools group has recommended, introduced, and even implemented many ideas for generating revenue and making the pools revenue neutral and eventually making money for the city. The City Council and Rec Department have not given their full support to these ideas. Consider that pools add quality of life to your neighborhood which adds value to your property, regardless of whether or not you use them personally.
becki kain July 30, 2012 at 11:04 PM
when there is a pool adults can use, I'd think about supporting the pools, but there isn't.
Christopher olind July 31, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Well they have adult hours before open swim. Let's think if these pools close what else are these kids going to do. Hopefully not rob your house. Hey I am a adult and I use the pool everyday. I have no problem sharing the pool with kids. Stop being selfish and realize that these pools are the reason why people move to these neighborhoods. Which then turns property values up. What would you rather have a new city hall for all the politicians who cant get a real job or something that our citzens can enjoy!! During these 100 degree days
Donna Hay July 31, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Don't think that we have much of a choice on the new city hall - the mayor wanted it and he will get it no matter what it costs the taxpayers of the city. My daughter and my Grandchildren used the pools and I will gladly vote for a mileage to keep them open. I would not have voted for a SAD beacause I didn't think it was fair for each area to pay different amounts for the same thing. Let's just hope that anyone running for the office of mayor or council next year is on board with keeping the pools. Not sure about the council members who are serving right now, not a one of them is willing to speak up and try to save the pools by voting to put it on the ballot.
becki kain July 31, 2012 at 01:16 PM
which pool and when? why do you need kid's hours in the outdoor pools and no adult swim in the dearborn recreation? how is it being selfish that I have to pay, for 3 months of the dearborn rec that I can't use, because that's the way their fees are structured? and your argument is false, they don't automatically help with property values. when all 8 pools were open, my house went down 80k in value. it's gone up, a small amount, since then.
Gilda Tamburro July 31, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Pools only offer convenience and add no value to property. Is the cost to upgrade justified considering they are only used 2 or 3 months out of the year? We have Camp Dearborn. People that wish to purchase a home look at the school system, police, fire and city services. I don't believe they move into a city because of the pools or parks.
Frank Lee August 01, 2012 at 01:20 PM
You don't believe that people move into these neighborhoods for the pools and parks and libraries than you don't talk to the people who live there. I bought my house in Dearborn for three reasons schools, the community pool, and Ten Eyck Park. Now oreilly is closing the pool, Snow School is a disaster, so I left. Every city that is not named Detroit has the same level of police and fire and trash. Pools, Parks and libraries are Dearborns comparative advantage and is the one thing that makes Dearborn stand above the rest. Sadly it is an advantage that is being destroyed by greedy and incompetant mayor and council facilities by selfish and simplistic voters
becki kain August 01, 2012 at 01:28 PM
so no one can tell me which pool has adult lap swim and what the hours are, nor why it's fair for the dearborn rec to charge me for 3 months where I can't get in to swim?
Thomas Barszczowski August 01, 2012 at 02:34 PM
We have an excellent, fully staffed police and fire department in Dearborn. We voted to maintain certtain levels based on population. I have lived in another city and our protection is GREAT. Our trash and other services seem to be the same, as we pay for these, too, with our taxes.
Frank Lee August 01, 2012 at 04:10 PM
If you want adult swim go to Dunworth. If you want adult swim at community pools which is a great idea recomend it to Oreilly. I did. The problem is not the cost to run these pools which could be easily supported by users. The problem is oreilly and his rec director used pool funds to support other projects and failed to maintain them. Now they need upkeep beyond routine maintaince and he's crying about it. It's not the money it's the fact we have a mayor who cannot run his departments
Kristyn Taylor August 01, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Becki, I can't speak to the Ford Center and why/how they charge. However, I can direct you to the Save Our Small Pools blog where you can find dates and times of different activities that SOP helps to host at the small pools. www.saveoursmallpools.blogspot.com.
Gilda Tamburro August 01, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Frank, you mention above that you puchased your home in Dearborn because of the schools, pools and Ten Eyck Park. Now these facilities are being closed or you consider a disaster, and you left. Are you still living in Dearborn?
Gilda Tamburro August 01, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Frank do you still live in Dearborn? You mention above that you left because the pools are closing and Snow school is a disaster.
William Leavens August 01, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Frank couldn't agree with you more. O'Reilly and his band of bandits have ruined what was once a proud, and enjoyable City. Count me out, I'm closing on a house in 2 weeks in anothe City. I don't want to see the City deteriate any longer.
Christopher olind August 02, 2012 at 07:22 AM
I am a adult who shares the pools with the children. I have no problem with that. I bought my house on ten eycke park because of the pool. When all small pools where open. The housing crisis happened. If you don't think that having a pool in your neighborhood helps your property value than you need to go back to basic economics 101. To have children be able to walk and play at a pool makes people move to that area. To hurt children because of incompetent leaders is a shame. How many stupid things does this idiot mayor have to do before the citizens realize he is no good. If I where to run my busseness affairs like he runs the city I would be homeless, broke and unemployed. Citizens get the hint. Remove mayor pudding pants!!!!!
Gilda Tamburro August 02, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Economics 101 -- ask the people living by Ford Woods park. The park or pool has not helped their property values. Also, name calling will for the most part get you no where.

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