Estimated costs to replace the Crown Park outdoor Camas pool were $2.2 million, yet the city closed that pool in 2018. In 2019, costs of a “replacement” pool have ballooned to $72 Million for a 78,000 square foot indoor facility with a 25 meter competition pool, a second recreation/leisure pool, fitness equipment, a gym, and rooms for events. Add $6 Million for existing sports field improvements, replacing natural grass with turf, for an exorbitant $78 Million 20-year bond on November’s ballot. These construction costs will add approximately $1.04 per $1000 assessed property value (APV) to annual property taxes, which translates to $500 for a $480,000 Camas home.

Camas families and businesses will be forced to pay annual bond taxes, even if they never use the facility. To actually use the facility, hefty membership or use fees will be charged. Based on rates charged by Vancouver’s Firstenburg Aquatic Center for their single pool center, annual family membership fees could exceed $700 per year. (UPDATE: City projects $800/year) Nearby athletic clubs offer pools and/or workout facilities, and it is unfair for the City of Camas to compete with or push out longtime businesses.

The city already owns and operates The Lacamas Lake Lodge events center across the road from the proposed new Camas Aquatics Center, in addition to The Fallen Lake Park outdoor facility adjacent to the proposed site. The City of Camas Community Center south of downtown also rents space. Local schools also rent gyms, rooms, theaters, fields and stadiums to community groups. Essential city services like roads, water, and infrastructure are priority, not facilities already available in our community. 

Operation costs are not included in this bond and are projected to exceed revenues by $850,000 per year. A new metro parks tax district and additional levies are being considered to pay for these projected losses for this massive center.

Schools, Fire, and EMS also ask for tax hikes, and city, county, port and state raise taxes without asking. Camas property taxes have grown significantly over the last 20 years, and are higher than surrounding areas. Our tax burden is already high, and this bond will significantly increase city taxes.

The proposed lakeside location is a notorious traffic bottleneck and safety concern. Alternate locations in less congested areas have been identified, yet ignored. This unnecessary, elaborate pools center is simply too expensive for many Camas residents and businesses. 

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PHONE: 360-818-4377



Camas Taxpayers Alliance

3533 NW Norwood St.

Camas, WA 98607

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