Frequently Asked Questions


Why a bond?

A voted bond measure gives the public an opportunity to decide on funding for a large project like the Aquatic Recreation Center that is beyond normal Parks operations and maintenance.

What is the cost to build?

The proposal on the November 2023 ballot authorizes $27,000,000 in general obligation bonds maturing within 29 years

For South Whidbey property owners, this translates to an estimated bond levy rate of $0.153 per $1,000 of assessed property value (based on current interest rates).  The tax impact to construct the facility will vary based on each property owner’s assessment, but for the owner of a $500,000 home the monthly tax impact is estimated at $6.38 and the annual tax impact is estimated at $77.  Other fundraising currently underway may reduce the size of the bond issuance, and if so, would reduce these monthly and annual estimates.  The table below estimates the tax cost for various assessed home values.  Final levy rates will vary. 

What is the cost to operate and maintain?

Once built, this facility will have a cost to operate and maintain that is separate from the construction costs. A portion of these operating costs will be covered with user fees and rentals.  The remainder will be covered with a planned supplemental maintenance and operations levy.  Based on current projections, this levy is estimated at $0.07 per $1000 of assessed value.  The tax impact of this levy will vary based on each property owner’s assessment, but for the owner of a $500,000 home the monthly tax impact is estimated at $3.05.  

What will it cost to use the pool?

Community members will have a variety of choices for payment options, that could include: annual memberships with youth, senior, and household rates; 10-session passes; daily admission fees; and special program fees (swim lessons, kayak safety, etc).

We anticipate dollar amounts will be similar to other public pool fees, such as in Oak Harbor and Lynnwood, which currently are approximately $7/adult for single day, $65 for 10-session pass. Additionally, the Parks District is considering a discounted rate for South Whidbey residents.

Will the pools be salt water?

Yes. We plan on using a saline chlorination system.  

What is the role of private donations?

South Whidbey Parks and Aquatics Foundation is raising private donations for: 

Who will operate and maintain the facility?

The facility will be operated and maintained by the Parks District. Currently, the Parks District rents office space from Island County. The plan to put the Parks District staff offices in the building will make the operation most cost-effective and will make this building the de facto Parks headquarters for the future.

When will the pool open?

The current timeline projects construction to begin in early 2025, with opening day in the summer of 2026.

Tell me more about the Parks District

South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District is a local government entity overseen by a volunteer group of five citizens elected by District voters. The budget to operate and maintain the Parks system is from a voted levy provided by the citizens of the District. The District operates with a small staff of three office and three maintenance employees who administer District recreation programs and maintain more than 400 acres at six park sites. Oversight of this staff is provided by the District Board of Commissioners and audits of District finances are conducted biennially by the State of Washington.