On Monday evening, the first of several public hearings was held to gauge the interest in and share ideas about a possible town pool. The event was organized by the BSC Group that won the bid to perform a feasibility study for Auburn. The Pappas Foundation gave the town $30,000 to complete the study and has also generously pledged $1 million towards the construction of a town pool. Martha Pappas was in attendance.

Residents vote for their preferences on a town pool. Photo by John Anderson

19 residents signed in for the event, but a few more likely missed that step. More significantly, 731 residents have filled out the on-line survey on the Auburn Guide and roughly 60% support a town pool. 23% responded “No” while 17% were undecided. The survey will be up for a few more weeks, and all are invited to participate.

Town Manager Julie Jacobson opened the meeting and said that the 6-month study will determine, among many other things, what impact a pool would have on Auburn taxpayers.

Jef Fasser, the BSC senior associate leading the study, told the audience they have enlisted the help of Barbara Heller of Boston’s Heller and Heller to provide established facts about other municipal pools in the region. One of those facts is that swimming lessons are the largest revenue generator for municipal pools.

A discussion with residents is conducted by Town Manager Julie Jacobson and BSC’s Steve Cammoso. Photo by John Anderson

After some explanation of the study process, participants were allowed to show their preferences between an inside and outside facility as well as what features and offerings a pool should provide. Residents also participated in two brainstorming sessions about related topics.

Residents overwhelmingly showed preferences towards an indoor pool, the need for swimming lessons and accommodations for people with special needs.

Jacobson told the audience to encourage neighbors and friends to take the online survey and give their opinions. The next public hearing will be on Wednesday, June 20th at the high school presentation room.

For those unable to attend Monday night, video of the meeting is posted online.