Northwest NEWS

June 10, 2002

Local News

County announces Saint Edward pool to remain open

While budget cuts threaten to close many King County parks, a community swimming pool has been spared a similar fate.
   The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission voted earlier this month to continue funding the Carole Ann Wald memorial swimming pool at Saint Edward State Park in Kenmore. The state recently considered mothballing the pool after it had become too expensive to operate during the past few years.
   About 20 area residents and elected officials formed a work group with parks department staff this year to develop a marketing plan and budget for the pool.
   "This swimming pool has saved my way of life," said work group volunteer Mary Jo Stewart. "I sustained some injuries that interfered with what I did. The therapy at the aerobics classes have given me my life back."
   King County ran the pool from 1985 to 2000 with a subsidy from the state parks system. Pool operations then fell to the state, which also had trouble keeping up with expenses despite increased fees. Annual state subsidies increased to $121,000 from $70,000.
   The pool will stay open while the business plan is put into place to bring state support back down to $70,000 per year. The commission will review the pool's financial status next summer.