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Pasco Awaits Legislation for Local Aquatics Facilities

Courtney Cameron

Voters in Pasco, Wash., are waiting on the outcome of House Bill 1499, a “vote-to-float” measure that would add aquatics facilities to a list allowing districts to build based solely on local approval, according to the Tri-City Herald.

The city has been working towards a new public facility since 2013, when voters across the area rejected a plan to construct a $35 million natatorium with a competition pool, a current channel, a surf simulator and a slide tower in Pasco.

Though the plan failed to amass broad support, local support in Pasco was 57 percent in favor of a sales tax request to fund the project. In order to make something out of the support, the city of Pasco needed new legislation.

In 2017, a state representative introduced the legislation for the first time, with revisions submitted in 2018 and 2019. The most recent version of the bill passed last Thursday, and is waiting on the signature of Gov. Jay Inslee.

If the bill is signed — as the city hopes will happen this week — the Pasco Public Facilities District will begin work to develop a new vision for its long-awaited aquatics park. It will be up to the city council to decide whether sales tax recommendations will show up on a ballot.

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