NEWMAN - Facility projects - including a potential swimming pool - are likely to be among topics of discussion when the Newman City Council and Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District Board of Trustees will convene a joint meeting Wednesday, Aug. 14.
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the McConnell Adult Education Center.
While sub-committees from each governing body meet every couple months or so in what are referred to as “two-on-two” meetings, full joint sessions are less frequent. According to school district staff, the last such meeting took place in April 2013.
“We are calling it more of a workshop than a meeting,” said Randy Fillpot, district superintendent. “There will not be any decisions made. We proposed that the city would talk about any capital improvement projects and development that they have going on; we will talk about our needs and where we want to go.”
A pool is likely to be a central point of discussion, Fillpot and City Manager Michael Holland each indicated.
The city has been without a public swimming pool since the demolition of the long-standing Newman Plunge more than a decade ago. The economic recession which hit shortly thereafter and the subsequent elimination of redevelopment agencies (through which a new pool could have been funded) derailed the city’s hopes of quickly building a new aquatic center to replace the Plunge. Grant applications were unsuccessful, as was a 2016 ballot measure asking Newman voters to approve a tax to fund an aquatic center.
The council has expressed an interest in exploring another pool measure to put on the ballot in November 2020 - but the school board is also likely to put a bond measure before voters at that time.
The district has not ruled out including a pool as one of the projects to be funded, and included a pool on a survey designed to gauge likely voter support for various projects.
Survey results should be in before the joint meeting, Fillpot said, which could help guide pool discussions.
Fillpot said the district’s biggest concern with the pool previously proposed by the city was location. “It wasn’t really close enough to what we needed for our schools, predominantly our high school,” he explained.
One possibility, Fillpot said, is building a pool at Orestimba which the public could also access outside of school hours.
“This kind of opens the discussion,” he commented.
Holland briefly addressed the upcoming joint session at the July 23 City Council meeting.
“This will be your opportunity to talk to the board and see what their plans are. They have had discussions about going out again for another general obligation bond, and whether that will include a pool at the high school site,” the city manager stated. “If they are not going to go after one, it is my thought that you would want to proceed with a (pool) measure in 2020.”
In more general terms, Fillpot said, the meeting is an opportunity for the two governing bodies to sit down and explore opportunities for shared projects or programs.
“We want to try to complement each other with what we provide. We’re trying to not duplicate things,” Fillpot told Mattos Newspapers, noting that the two agencies already partner on things such as facility use. “There is interest in both sides, I think, in how we can work together.”