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Center is worth a second look

At the last City Council work session, Mayor Dwight Tankersley introduced the idea of building a $13 million lifestyle center to replace the city’s failing pool, which the city has made repairs to occasionally during its 30+ years of operation.
While the idea immediately drew criticism because of the price tag, it may be an idea that’s worth a second look. The main reason why the Mayor chose this approach was to find a way to make the pool pay for itself.
A pool by itself will never break even or make money. It’s always been subsidized by the city’s general fund. Even if you sink $800,000 or $1 million into repairing or replacing the current pool, it will never have a positive cash flow.
A lifestyle/wellness center does have a chance to make money.
However, I think it’s an idea that could work if the proper facility is built for Hartselle. We can’t copy what’s been done somewhere else. If we built it, we must find our niche in the market. Otherwise it will become a liability, not an asset.
Brent Maze is the managing editor of the Hartselle Enquirer.