The Ottumwa Courier


June 15, 2013

Can we afford to be 'lazy?'

There’s no question that a swimming pool or aquatic facility is a great asset for any community.

And the concept of the addition of a lazy river to The Beach Ottumwa sounds pretty good. After all, it could prove popular among Ottumwans as well as visitors to our community. It’s appeal is clear.

But the current estimate of $2.8 million is not something easily found in city coffers. And maybe more importantly, the question as to whether or not taxpayers should fund that bill or something more pressing within the city has to be addressed.

However, the recent formation of a Parks Advisory Board subcommittee, whose directive will be to come up with a fundraising plan, is a good start to searching out dollars to fund this lazy river addition.

Last year, we suggested the city and the parks department investigate possible private-public partnerships in funding the lazy river. With many projects, the city needs to look at alternative sources to funding besides using taxpayer dollars.

We think the lazy river is a great idea, and we’re hopeful the community, private donors and other creative funding opportunities will mean this concept will sail through to fruition.

A lazy river could prove to be an economic boon and certainly would enhance Ottumwa’s quality of life. It’s going to take hard work, novel financing ideas and a willingness from the entire community to make this possible.

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