North Bend voters reject proposal to build new community pool

Another effort to bring a new pool to Si View Park in North Bend fails by less than 3%.

A new community swimming pool will not be coming to North Bend, as voters narrowly rejected raising property taxes in order to fund the proposed facility.

Although King County Election results won’t be certified until next week, the pool proposal is extremely unlikely to garner enough votes in the remaining days to move the needle beyond the 60% threshold needed to implement a new tax and fund the pool.

Updated election results from Monday, Aug. 8, show that 57% of voters supported the new facility. That is an increase of about 1% since initial results were released on Tuesday, Aug. 2.

Those results are nearly identical to efforts from 2020, when voters rejected a similar pool tax proposal that received support from 56% of voters.

Si View Parks District, which represents much of the upper-Valley, placed both measures on their respective ballots and has long desired to replace the community’s outdated and undersized pool.

The pool, built over 80 years ago when under 700 people were living in North Bend, has long waitlists and programming limitations due to its size. Making renovations are impractical, Si View says.

Although the new tax was looking to raise a hefty $24.7 million in property taxes – estimated at $9.75 a month on a $600,000 home – Si View has emphasized that a new pool is the fiscally responsible approach, noting that taxes dollars will continue to go towards the old pool and its rising maintenance costs. Much of the pool’s plumping is the original pipes from when it was built eight decades ago.

The proposed $30 million aquatic facility was planned to be almost 25,000 square feet larger than the current facility and feature both a lap and competitive swimming pool, alongside other amenities. It was projected to meet the community’s needs for the next 50 years.

In a mass email on Aug. 9, the Si View Parks District thanked voters for their support. They plan to reevaluate support for a new pool with a community survey, the email said, and will consider finding ways to expand the current pool, if a new facility is not an option.

Still, they said, the state of the current pool is unchanged, and will inevitably require a major overhaul of its mechanical systems and plumping.

Si View also said they are in talks about retaining a $4 million grant award they received from the King County Parks Levy Grant program earlier this year. That grant would have contributed to the new pool, had it been approved.