Building a public pool in Ramona Park could cost $10 million, city report says • Long Beach Post News

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The city considered three North Long Beach parks for the new pool – Houghton, Scherer and Ramona – but ultimately found that the 7-acre Ramona Park, near the city’s border with Bellflower, had the fewest obstacles and would serve more residents who do not have access to a pool.

The city could get a firmer cost estimate from a consultant, but Parks, Recreation and Marine Director Brent Dennis said in a memo that the price to build the pool could range from $6.5 at $10 million.

This would likely be an outdoor pool, which would reduce construction and operating costs, but would still require spaces for personnel and for the storage of chemicals and mechanical equipment in addition to a cloakroom, toilets and showers. The proposed project is a 25 yard recreational pool. The city could conduct a vision plan to gauge community interest in a pool before moving forward.

Residents of North Long Beach have seasonal access to the Jordan High School pool and a number of other private pools that require a monthly fee to use, but the closest municipal pool is at Silverado Park in West Long Beach. Free swim fees at Silverado Park range from $1 to $3.

In August, Councilman Rex Richardson asked the city to review what it would cost to build a facility in North Long Beach, saying it was an issue of fairness for residents who have to drive across town to escape the heat, which could get worse. as climate change accelerates.

The space between the existing Ramona Park playground and the sports fields has been identified as a potential location for a new pool if the city can secure funding. Photo by Jason Ruiz.

This is not the only pool project underway. Long Beach is set to get final approval from the California Coastal Commission to build a new resort at the former Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Belmont Shore which was demolished in 2014. The new resort is expected to cost over $85 million and will be primarily paid for with income from the Tidelands fund which is earmarked for investments along the coast.

For the North Long Beach pool project, city officials considered several parks in the preliminary study for closer installation, but some were ruled out for being too small (Coolidge and Jackson), having problems with mitigation of being built on top of a former landfill (Davenport) and being the location of previously approved community plans.

Dennis said Houghton Park, the largest park in the area, was ruled out because a swimming pool was not included in a previously completed community vision plan that identified updating sports fields as a priority. The annual Uptown Jazz Festival and the park’s proximity to Jordan, where residents can swim during the summer, also factored into the decision to exclude it.

The topography of Scherer Park, an existing sewer line that would need to be relocated, and the more affluent demographics surrounding the park led to Ramona being suggested as a more suitable location.

“From an equity perspective, there are residents in other parts of North Long Beach who could stand to gain the most because of the traditional lack of resources in their communities,” said Dennis, director of parks, in the report.

Residents living within half a mile of Scherer Park have a median household income of $71,412 and a per capita income of $39,741. According to data from the California Department of Parks and Recreation, those within the same distance of Ramona Park have a median household income of $53,352 and a per capita income of $18,472.

Funding for the pool could come from a number of sources such as the city’s Measure A sales tax, which generates tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue that the city uses to staff security departments. public and manage infrastructure. State, federal, and local taxes and subsidies were also listed as potential funding sources for the pool.

The city council is expected to begin its budget discussions in the coming weeks.

If the pool is built, Dennis said in the memo that funding the scheduling and maintenance of the pool would be a challenge for his department, which already struggles to care for existing municipal pools. These pools are in “urgent need of repairs” and have limited opening hours due to existing budget constraints.

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