Pool project plans a long way off

By Kirk Boxleitner
Posted 3/27/24

County leaders are awaiting a report by the state Department of Commerce, and collecting names to serve on a task force, applications for which are due by March 29, which will evaluate options for a …

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Pool project plans a long way off


County leaders are awaiting a report by the state Department of Commerce, and collecting names to serve on a task force, applications for which are due by March 29, which will evaluate options for a new pool.    

The Leader asked all three members of the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners what progress had been made toward a new pool facility, nearly four months after they voted to join the city of Port Townsend in funding a review of the pool proposals.

The $15,000 independent financial feasibility study is evaluating the aquatic and wellness center that’s been proposed for the existing Mountain View campus pool site, as well as the Public Facilities District that’s been proposed to fund it,

Greg Brotherton, commissioner of Jefferson County District 3, told The Leader on March 22, “We are waiting for the final report to come back from the consultant that the Department of Commerce was commissioned to write,” while referring to a draft copy of the report that dates to Feb. 23 of this year.

“We are looking to seat a task force, to look at alternate locations and construction methods, as well as reviewing the record to date,” he added.

Heidi Eisenhour, commissioner for Jefferson County District 2, elaborated that Brotherton is the commissioners’ designee to the pool steering committee, but added that each commissioner will be tasked with reviewing those who express interest in a newly formed aquatic center task force, to be named the “Healthier Together Task Force,” and with appointing two task force members per district to participate.

Kate Dean, commissioner for Jefferson County District 1, reiterated that the proposed Public Facilities District would create a county-wide taxing district that would levy a 0.2% sales tax, but she emphasized that the commissioners are not even ready to place such a measure on the ballot yet, for voters to approve or deny.

“We still want more information, before we even move forward that far,” Dean said.

Dean elaborated that this is one purpose of the task force, to ensure sufficient feedback is solicited from Jefferson County Districts 2 and 3, so that representatives of all three county districts can potentially speak to alternate building locations and funding mechanisms.


“We’re accepting applications from interested parties, but they are due Friday, March 29,” said Dean, who listed knowledge and experience regarding construction, public finance and aquatic facilities as welcome traits in candidates. “We do also ask that applicants have a desire to see a public pool facility built in the county.”

Dean believes it’s likely that the task force members from each county district will be selected over the course of the week following the March 29 application deadline, to allow for an estimated schedule of two task force meetings per month, from April through June.

“We’re eager to get moving on this issue,” said Dean, who noted the task force would also include two at-large representatives from the JeffCo Aquatic Coalition, selected by the JAC president, who reside outside the city of Port Townsend. “The task force will make its recommendation in June.”

Dean acknowledged that “public resistance was significant” to the previously proposed building location and funding mechanism, and pledged that the final report from the Department of Commerce would be posted online for public transparency.

Commissioners are also seeking representation of geographic, economic, gender, age, racial and ethnic diversity through their appointments to the task force.

Applicants interested in serving should submit a one-page written statement of interest to the Jefferson County Commissioners’ Office at 1820 Jefferson Street, via postal mail to P.O. Box 1220, Port Townsend, WA 98368, or via email to jeffbocc@co.jefferson.wa.us, along with a completed boards-and-commissions application, found on the Jefferson County government website at co.jefferson.wa.us/DocumentCenter/View/4827/Boards-Commission-Application online.


For more information about this non-paid position, call the Jefferson County Commissioners’ Office at 360-385-9122.