Google Groups
Join To Get Blog Update Notices
Visit the Hickory Hound Group

Monday, February 20, 2012

Proposal to Hickory City Parks & Recreation Department Commission and the Hickory City Council - Dr. Joseph Inglefield

The Hound: Two weeks ago at the February 7th Hickory City Council meeting, Dr. Joseph Inglefield and his wife, Attorney Rebecca Inglefield addressed the Hickory City Council about the issues regarding Aquatic Recreation in Hickory. I asked Dr. Inglefield about a plan that he had helped put together nearly two years ago to try to solve these issues in a positive manner.  The Doctor and his associates were summarily ignored without even the courtesy of a discussion. Without further adieu, I present Dr. Inglefield submitted message, which I believe speaks for itself.

It has been recommended that a proposal for an aquatics facility be made based on the recent public hearings and City of Hickory Aquatics Assessment Survey.

There are numerous citizens of Hickory who are very interested in aquatics facilities at this time. With the closure of the Ridgeview and West Hickory pools the last two summers, there has been an increasing demand for public aquatic facilities. At present, all other aquatic facilities in the Hickory area are private. Based on the city’s survey, aquatic recreation compares favorably in terms of the agenda for the Park & Rec’s department. In the survey only Police, Fire and Library Services surpassed it. Only 5.8% of citizens feel that no aquatic recreation is necessary.

The recent Gallup and Healthways Well Being Index poll ranked Hickory as being last in the USA, is quite a surprise considering Hickory’s being named an All American City. Construction of an Aquatics Center also fits with the ongoing effort of the Business Development Committee to market the City to existing and potential entrepreneurs including young professional couples, middle managers and telecommuters. Aquatics are an area where Hickory is clearly behind similar and competing cities. It is also consistent with our standing charter to attract retires who need a pool for recreation, exercise and medical rehabilitation.

The need to provide aquatic recreation for the public health and well being, safety, and protection of our citizens would be the primary motivation of building an aquatic facility. However, there are numerous other organizations and citizen groups that would be interested in the development and success of aquatic recreation in the public sector of Hickory.

Uses of such a facility include family swim and recreation times, swim lessons for all ages, and water safety lessons. Also, team training including swimming, water polo, and synchronized swimming, scuba diving, kayak training, police, fire and rescue training, medical rehab and water aerobics, obesity remediation. This would involve all age groups and citizens within the community.

Other groups that would have interest and could benefit from a public recreation aquatics facility include Lenoir Rhyne University, Frye Hospital, the YMCA of the Catawba Valley, economic development council, local developers, city and county schools, home schoolers, Western Piedmont Council of Government, hotel/motel owners, transportation agencies, local merchants and restaurants and eateries. The ability to attract regional competitive events and even national events is possible with the facility we suggest.

Collaboration with these organizations as well as philanthropic groups within Hickory would be strongly urged. These include the various foundations and philanthropists in the Hickory area.

With all this in mind and after careful review and attendance at the public hearings, we would recommended on behalf of the citizens of Hickory:

1) That we use local expertise in aquatics that can provide knowledgeable up-to-date information regarding aquatics facilities
2) The aquatics facility should be a minimum of 25 yards by 50 meters with a minimum depth of 60 inches. The initial construction would include bath house and adequate parking provided or available for immediate and future applications. This pool should be up to current standards and recommendations in terms of water filtration and handling with supplementary solar heating panels and blanket water cover to allow the facility to operate at least six months of the year. Deck space/room for future bleachers for swim meets and planning for possible seasonal enclosure might also be provided as the concept develops.
3) That the facility have adjacent land for expansion including at some point in the future a warm-up or teaching pool of a smaller size planning that this facility would be enclosed at some point in the future either by a seasonal inflatable bubble type structure or a permanent building.
4) We would recommend that this pool be placed adjacent to the Ridgeview area which is central to the city of Hickory, preferably very close to downtown, or even adjacent, where the facility would be an attraction for the entire city and would attract developers of the area surrounding the swimming facility such as hotel, restaurants and other support businesses.

We are available to answer questions to give guidance and recommendations regarding this basic facility which will serve the needs of the Hickory citizens for many years to come.

This proposal, the $30k survey on aquatics, 3 public hearings were all ignored by City Council and the recreation department. The sneaky destruction of the pools approved over the holiday, just like the "Big Tent" , followed. We need new leadership. Pure ward voting would help!

The Hound: If you think that a city should operate through obfuscation, charades, and without public discourse or input then you are in the right place. If you think there is something wrong with this style of authoritative governance, then please think about signing the petition to have an election about the way that Hickory City Council Representatives are elected

1 comment:

Ryan Pegarsch said...

Dr.Inglefield, I agree with you 100%. This aquatic issue needs to be addressed and this should be the game-changer that Mayor Wright is always talking about. I will let you know I will be announcing soon about a run for a City Council position in the next election and I will bring this issues up to the for front and get Hickory back on track with the concerns of the citizens and bringing jobs and people to Hickory.