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Kirkland pool tax levy proposal officially sinks following city council decision

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(The Center Square) – Bowing to public feedback, the Kirkland City Council on Wednesday officially ended work on a tax levy proposal for this November’s ballot to fund a community swimming pool facility.

The city council approved Resolution 5624, which halts all further consideration of the proposal that would have been funded by a bond.

The Kirkland City Council was exploring a taxpayer-funded pool facility as a result of the Kirkland community expressing a need for an indoor pool. The council previously proposed Proposition 1 last November to expand aquatics, parks and recreation facilities in the city, but was turned down by Kirkland voters on a 41% to 59% vote.

City council staff was directed to complete a community survey to learn why Proposition 1 did not pass and get some insight into the community’s priorities for the future.

EMC Research conducted the survey on behalf of Kirkland from Feb. 8 to Feb. 15. The survey used a random sample of 600 participants in Kirkland, with 510 indicating that they are registered voters.

Survey results showed that 64% of registered voters and 47% of all respondents said their households can’t afford anymore property tax increases right now. About 49% of registered voters and 49% of all respondents said they would not support a tax measure to fund a new indoor community pool.

City staff ultimately came to the conclusion that the while there is majority support for a community pool in Kirkland, there is a lack of support to fund a pool facility with a property tax measure this year.

Kirkland does have an outdoor pool called the Peter Kirk Pool, but it is only open from June through September.

City staff will now explore opportunities for the Peter Kirk Pool to become a year-round facility that provides residents access to aquatic activities.

“I definitely support a pool, it’s just definitely not the time,” Kirkland City Councilmember Jon Pascal said at Wednesday’s city council meeting. “I do think it’s prudent to continue to explore the Peter Kirk Pool as a year round facility.”