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Johnson City leaders discuss aquatics facilities

COREY SHOUN • Feb 17, 2007 at 6:51 AM

JOHNSON CITY - Johnson City leaders Thursday night continued discussions involving new swimming facilities in Johnson City.

During approval of minutes from a called meeting two weeks ago concerning the new Seniors Center facility, the City Commission once again debated whether to add a pool to plans for the center or come up with a more comprehensive solution.

Commissioner Pete Paduch still championed the idea of building a pool specifically for senior citizens, which could bring the cost of the $7 million center up as much as another $2 million.

"To me, I can see there being something for the seniors and something for the rest of the city," Paduch said.

Mayor Steve Darden said that approach is unrealistic. During the called meeting, Darden advocated looking at an "aquatics facility" that would service the entire city and which might allow seniors to exclusively use the indoor pool at Freedom Hall Civic Center, which is not suitable for competitive swimming.

"I don't see us building multiple pools in this city," Darden said. "We've gotten by for years with Freedom Hall and Legion (Recreation Center) Pool."

"What's a million dollars in the scope of things?" Paduch said during the called meeting. "This is a one-time deal. Johnson City's got a pot of money right now."

Vice Mayor Phil Roe and Commissioner Ricky Mohon voted along with Paduch during the workshop to support investigating the addition of a pool to Seniors Center plans, while Darden and Commissioner Jane Myron opposed the action.

The commissioners, with Roe absent Thursday night, agreed that more details and another workshop in two weeks would be needed to discuss the matter at length and make an informed decision.

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