in Support of City assets
June 3, 2021
I am Twila Johnson-Tate, a new resident to Waitsburg. Imagine my surprise when I received the Walla Walla valley Visitor Guide, which listed Waitsburg as a place to visit. The magazine featured lively and inviting images of outdoor Waitsburg venues such as the Swimming Pool (closed), Bruce Mansion Grounds (closed), Waitsburg Fairgrounds with Grandstands (closed).
In fact, most of what would attract people to the city is closed or in the process of being closed.
The Weller Public library downtown will soon be added to the list of historic sites to be closed, relocated, or slated to be torn down and no longer a part of the history of Waitsburg.
The City Council of Waitsburg and City Administrator Randy Hinchliffe have decided to sell the Weller building and relocate the Public Library (location undisclosed at the time of this letter) based on a frequently used scare tactic of the building lacks ADA compliance and needs expensive repairs.
In an email sent by me to Mr. Hinchliffe on April 20th, 2021, asking when the city pool will open, I was advised that the “city is not going to open the pool this year” and instead plans on installing a splash pad. The splash pad will be a great addition to the city for families with small children, but the loss of the pool as a source of recreation for youth and adults is heartbreaking.
The city of Waitsburg is slated to receive funding from the Coronavirus State and local Fiscal Recovery Fund from the U.S. Department of Treasury. When I asked Mr. Hinchliffe what the city's plan for the allocation of funds will be, the response was that the “intended focus will be on water and sewer infrastructure as well as backfilling lost revenue from the pandemic.”
My question to City Council and Mr. Hinchliffe is this: Why not use a portion of that funding to make repairs to the Weller building, the city pool and the grandstands?