orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

July 31, 2013

Concerning the Natatorium

Special to The Leader
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — A few weeks ago it was suggested that I go to Water Aerobics.  I soon found out I would have to go to Beaumont to participate in this activity.  It is the same with shopping and eating out, Beaumont gets our business.

We have a wonderful Natatorium in Orange that is not being fully utilized.  This is a waste of a very valuable asset.  It is open only 2 months out of the year.

We have no control over the stores and restaurants, but the City Council Members have control over the facilities owned by the City.   When we elect our City Council Representative, we give them a lot of power.  This power is suppose to reflect the will of the people.

 Those few who hold the power in the City of Orange have sacrificed the Natatorium to pay for what is important to them.

Bottom line here is money.  We all know that anything that is worthwhile has a price tag.  With the Natatorium instead of thinking “this costs too much” we need to see it as tax money, well spent.  It gives the residents a place to go for recreation, plus a place to improve their overall health.  

I checked the 2013-14 City Budget.  $739,105.00 is budgeted for 11 parks.  They must have gold plated benches and silver water fountains.  This is $67,191.36 a park.  Have you driven by these parks? Some of them are mere playgrounds.   The city manager has a budget of $231,086.00 and the City Secretary $192,001.00.  Total for these three, $1,162.192.00.

All my life I have lived by the motto “if you can do it, I can do it.”  I apply that motto to this issue.  If other cities in Texas with Natatoriums can keep them open year round so can we.

I ask each of you that agree with me to contact your representative on the City Council, and encourage them to re-think this issue.

It is so simple to me.  They don’t have to buy anything or build anything.  Just keep the building open 12 months a year.  We all find money or time for what is important to us.  If the City Council believes this is important to the Citizens of Orange, it becomes important to them, they will find the money and will vote to keep it open year round.

Wanda Simar

Orange