I've noticed that in the last several issues that the editorial page has been dominated with those folks who are pro-aquatic and tennis center, telling us all the reasons why we need to spend millions of dollars to build the center (and who knows how much to keep it going), and how it will benefit all those in Columbia County... .
I decided that since this was such a great idea, I wanted to see how much time we get for our tax dollar. I sat down with my calculator and used what factual information I could find and the rest would be hypothetical. If the aquatic center is open (hypothetically) from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., for 365 days of the year, then that equals 306,600 minutes of open pool time.
The latest figures I could find on population said that in July of 2007, Columbia County has 109,100 residents. If you divide the number of minutes by the number of residents, then everyone will have 2.8 minutes each year to spend in the pool (that is, if we are able to keep Richmond, McDuffie, Burke, etc., out of the pool).
Now I know that more than one person (I would hope) will be in the pool at any given time, but even if there are 40 in the pool, as a group we only get 1 hour, 52 minutes a year. Then, if the center is used for league competition or the operation hours are shorter, or maintenance is needed, I'm afraid our pool time will go drastically down.
I've got a better idea on how to benefit everyone in Columbia County: Vote "no" for the aquatic and tennis center and that tax burden will not exist. If this were a money-maker, then some private entity would be all over it. This tax project will not only cost us now, but also in the future.
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