I recently read about the proposal for a North River pool at Buffalo Creek Park. As a North River resident I was disappointed to learn that Mr. Ed Hunzeker does not believe that the pool should be located near Palmetto, but instead near newer development further northeast of the city. At it’s core, his logic is sound and within regulations. Impact fees pay for the pool, so the pool should be located near where impact fees are collected.
I have no issue with this, except that this plan leaves behind those members of the community who could benefit most from a new pool. The idea that we should place a pool in an area in which nearly every new development includes a community pool seems foolish.
Furthermore, the density in that area is far less than closer in to the city, meaning it will not be within walking distance for the majority who live in that area. Additionally, there are two county-owned parcels of land (one at Blackstone Park, the other the former Palmetto Elementary) that could also be used, invalidating the argument about needing to acquire land.
Finally, Mr. Hunzeker alluded to the pool potentially being used by a non-existent swim team for the proposed new high school. I would like to point out that Palmetto High actually has a swim team, which must travel to Bradenton for practice several times per week.
While a North River pool is very exciting, the idea that we’d place it well away from the people who could best benefit and ensconce it in an area in which it would be less used just seems disappointing and illogical from my perspective.
I encourage Mr. Hunzeker and the commission to pursue an option closer to the Palmetto urban core. Alternatively, they could include an affordable public transportation option in the proposal that would run from Palmetto’s core to the pool.