JAC News
          July 25, 2013

The Voice for Aquatics in Jefferson County

From JAC President, Earll Murman

Let’s celebrate! Mountain View Pool (MVP) is turning 50.  Visit the pool on Friday August 2 to partake in your favorite aqua activity free of fee.  Click on this link to see the schedule of events organized by pool manager Anji Scalf.  This is a day to show our appreciation for our only public pool in Jefferson County, and for the staff who run it.

JAC’s advocacy for aquatics has helped MVP reach its 50th.  Our Board members meet frequently with City administration and Councilors, or other officials, to bring a user perspective to the table.  On July 11, we issued are first monthly report on the "State of the Mountain View Pool." Board members have also been meeting with City Council candidates to inform them about JAC and MVP.  You may see JAC at Farmers Markets this summer as we reach out to inform citizens and ask for their support.  We now have over 2300 supporters! Although our near term effort has been on MVP, our longer term goals are for improved, sustainable and accessible aquatic facilities and programs for Jefferson County.

New Board members Houlton Madinger and Hugh Winn joined us in May.  Hugh, a master swimmer with considerable professional experience in pool construction and operation, chairs our Aquatic Facilities Working Group.  Houlton is an avid aqua exerciser and chairs our Aquatic Programs Working Group.  JAC has also established an Advisory Group with a dozen initial members to better connect us to community stakeholders (see sidebar).

Finally, I would like to report that JAC recently donated $200 for summer swim lesson scholarships. The pool has been filled with users, be they for swim lessons, exercise, laps, therapy, recreation or competition.  I hope to see you there. 

Mountain View Pool Turns 50

The Mountain View Pool during its 50-year history has experienced a roller coaster ride of support interspersed with threats of closure.

As documented by Pam Clise in The Leader in 2005 (Chronicles: Diving into Pool History, July 27), the first attempt to obtain funding for a pool in 1936 failed when a bid for WPA money was rejected. A second attempt in 1948 was unable to raise adequate funds, but did leave money in escrow that was ultimately used toward construction of a non-regulation L shaped outdoor pool in 1963. The roof was added during final construction of the Mountain View Elementary School campus paid for by a special bond.

Financial support for the pool is complicated by complex ownership and management arrangements. The pool has always been owned by, and was originally managed by, the Port Townsend School District. In 1978, Jefferson County Recreation took over activities at the pool. In subsequent years pool finances benefited from payments made for use of the pool in the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman” in 1981, and again in 1992 from a school bond levy with pool improvements made in 1994-1995.

In 1995 the County stopped funding the pool. Following this, the City of Port Townsend leased the pool from the school district and took over most operating expenses. In 2008 there was a threat that the pool would close if additional support from the County and Hospital were not forthcoming. In 2009 the school district vacated the Mountain View Elementary School and the City leased the now named Mountain View Commons for 5 years. The Police Station, YMCA, Food Bank, Working Image, Red Cross, Library (temporarily), Port Townsend radio station and the Pool currently call Mountain View Commons home.

In 2012 the pool was again threatened with closure unless money was found for essential repairs. An exchange of funds between City and County provided approximately $150,000 of ‘unfettered’ money. The pool was closed in November 2012 for almost 5 months for repairs that included a new liner, new natatorium lighting, and upgrades in the pump room, decking and dressing rooms. Volunteers, many of them from JAC, scrubbed and painted, and installed dressing stalls and lockers.

Who uses the pool? Annually there are over 30,000 entries by Jefferson County residents of all ages. Data distributed in a 2010 Port Townsend Water Bill Newsletter showed that for 2009, 49% of the pool entries were youth, 34% were adults and 18% were seniors. Swim lessons were the largest use for youth (35%), followed by competitive swimming (29%), recreation and YMCA programs (14-15% each) and a variety of other uses such as water babies and Special Olympics. Adults and Seniors use the pool primarily for fitness - lap swimming and aqua exercise. Although no reliable data is available for the breakdown of city vs unincorporated county users, those of us who swim regularly have made many friends there who live outside the city. Brinnon elementary school sends all its students every year for swim lessons, and the high school girls team includes Chimacum students.  The Mountain View Pool is truly a Jefferson County resource.


OPEN BOARD MEETINGS -- Everyone Welcome!
Board meetings are held the last Wednesday of each month at Jordini's (829 Water Street, PT), from 5:00-7:00PM.  Although only Board members can vote on issues, all are welcome to participate in discussions and express opinions. For an agenda or to confirm your plans to attend, please email or call Earll by the day before.  (Beth needs to know how many people to expect at her restaurant.) Call 379-5372 or email Earll Murman.

JAC needs friendly faces to help staff our information table at the Chimacum Farmer's Market on Sunday, August 25th and at the Port Townsend Farmer's Market on Saturday, September 28th.

Our Communications Working Group can use writers, videographers, and help with social media and our website.  Although we have a volunteer who expects to have our website re-designed and complete by the end of August, ongoing work will be required to keep it up-to-date.

We also need help with various kinds of research, from facilities to program areas. 

To let JAC know of your interest, please email, or contact any of our Board members. You can make a real difference!

JeffCo Aquatic Coalition, PO Box 1730, Port Townsend, WA 98368


When you meet community leaders, tell them how important the pool is to you.  Your voice is important!

Happy 50th!
August 2, 2013


July 31
August 28
September 26

JeffCo Aquatic Coalition is incorporated in the State of Washington as a non-profit corporation
and has federal tax-deductible non-profit status - 501(c)(3)
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