The Board of Supervisors on Oct. 16 allocated up to $200,000 for an upgrade at the Claude Moore Recreation Center indoor pools.
Supervisor Suzanne Volpe (R-Algonkian), who initiated the action item, and several other supervisors proclaimed a pressing need for the enhancement – an evacuator system; yet the evidence for such is largely anecdotal, according to supervisors and staff.
Numerous tests in recent years have shown the air quality within the indoor pool facility to be within healthy ranges. One “extensive test again came back showing that the center was being run properly with proper maintenance and that the air quality was within the acceptable ranges,” according to a staff report.
But while “the tests came back indicating that everything was within the acceptable ranges, staff felt that it would be appropriate to try to improve the situation even more,” the report said.
The Claude Moore Recreation Center houses the county's only indoor pools.
Volpe said complaints over the air quality have been prevalent for years, and she wants the evacuator system installed “as soon as possible” before the heavy usage in the winter months.
Supervisor Ken Reid (R-Leesburg), the only board member to oppose Volpe's motion, was distressed over the board's 8-1 vote. Reid questioned how necessary the expenditure was, especially considering the board's finance committee never discussed the proposal.
The Leesburg supervisor also charged that the agreement for the new system was struck between eastern supervisors without the inclusion of those representing western Loudoun.
“I'll bet you, folks, that, you know, if this came before – if let's say if there was something in another district that wanted this – it would have to go to finance [committee] or have to be all this vetting,” Reid said. “ … I really don't like this business where, you know, you have a couple supervisors in the east who want this because it's their pool.”
Vice Chairman Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run) shot back, saying he takes offense to the charge that the issue was a case of “east versus west.”
“With all due respect to Mr. Reid, it's clear to me that you are not informed on the level of urgency with this particular item,” Williams said. “This is a health issue that needs to be resolved, and there is a time sensitivity.”
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