Oak Harbor Pool (North Whidbey Pool, Park & Recreation District Facebook page)

Oak Harbor Pool (North Whidbey Pool, Park & Recreation District Facebook page)

North Whidbey explores pool partnerships through levy

Possibilities include Rotary Club of Oak Harbor, the City of Oak Harbor and Oak Harbor School District.

North Whidbey Pool, Park and Recreation District is trying to find a way to open the pool again, preferably in time for high school girls swimming.

During a special session Wednesday night, the park district commissioners discussed possible partnerships with Rotary Club of Oak Harbor, the City of Oak Harbor, Oak Harbor School District and other groups as potential ways to reopen the pool.

“We’d really like to get it done as soon as possible,” said park district Chairman Sean Merrill.

The district is re-floating a levy in November. The levy is requesting voters to approve 20 cents per $1,000 assessed property value.

Last year’s levy request failed, forcing the pool’s closure.

Merrill said a full re-opening of the facility won’t be possible unless the levy passes.

However, the park district is aiming to hold a “soft opening” in time for winter high school swim season.

“Even if the levy passes in November, we won’t see the money until really next year,” Merrill said.

Merrill said the school district is unable to contribute to the park district financially, but the superintendent is looking into the possibility of its maintenance staff contributing to the pool’s operations.

Oak Harbor Mayor Bob Severns is also evaluating what the city could potentially contribute toward reopening the pool, Merrill said.

“Everybody is looking at the legality of it,” said Merrill.

“We’re testing the water, so to speak.”

The biggest expense goes toward heating the pool and getting the pumps running to keep the water clean.

Merrill said it still could take a while to get all the moving pieces together.

“Nobody is going to come forward with anything until we all know if it’s going to work,” he said, “and that we’re all in it together.”

This story originally appeared Sept. 14 in the Whidbey News-Times, a sibling paper of The Daily Herald.

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