Seal Beach council considers community pool sites

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The Seal Beach City Council received and filed a staff report on potential community swimming pool sites on Monday, Feb. 28.

The council took no action following a study session on potential locations for a community swimming pool.

District 4 Councilman Gary Miller said the city should ask Los Alamitos Unified School District officials if they would be willing to sell or lease the McGaugh site.

District 3 Councilman Gordon Shanks said the council should hold a joint session with the Parks and Recreation Commission to discuss swimming pool sites.

“All of this is exploratory,” said departing Interim City Manager Patrick Importuna. The Feb. 28 meeting was his last appearance as temporary Seal Beach city manager.

Public Works Director Sean Crumby reviewed six potential sites for a community pool.

Site one: Zoeter Park. Crumby said the site is easily accessible and within walking distance of the current pool.

He said the site was close to City Hall, making it accessible for staff to service a pool located there. Parking would be adequate.

Crumby confirmed that the softball field there would be lost if a pool were built in Zoeter Park.

Crumby said the city would need at least an acre for a swimming pool.

Site two: Marina Park. Like Zoeter Park, this site would be accessible. However, there were environmental issues with the Exxon-Mobile property. Crumby said staff had a conference call with Exxon-Mobile’s real estate unit that morning.

Shanks asked if Exxon had given staff a time for selling the property.

Crumby said the state would require a letter of intent to sell from Exxon-Mobile before issuing grant funds for the project.

Site three: the property at 1st Street and Pacific Coast Highway. Crumby said this property was large enough for the city to expand the facility to other recreational uses. However, there was a large “con” to this site: the property is owned by the California Lands Commission. Crumby said staff had not had success in discussing the sale of the property with the Lands Commission.

Site four: the property at the end of Adolfo Lopez Drive. Crumby said this was the smallest property considered. The small size would increase the cost of building a pool. There would not be enough land for parking. The property is located near wetlands.

Shanks said the California Coastal Commission would probably not allow a swimming pool next to wetlands.

Site five: the Boeing parking lot. Crumby said Boeing might not want to partner with the city.

Site six: Old Ranch Golf Course. Crumby said the golf course was separate from the residential community. There was ample parking. However, the city does not own the property.

Importuna said none of the sites was ideal.

Council received and filed the report.

In other business

That same night, the council:

• Approved “private placement” of sewer bonds with Bank of America at a rate of 4.8 percent interest. According to the staff report by Robbeyn Bird, director of administrative services, Seal Beach issued $4.2 million in bonds to finance sewer improvements in 2000. As of Feb. 28, the city was paying 5.6 percent interest. On Dec. 13, 2010, the City Council approved a public offering to refund the bonds, provided the refinance would save the city a minimum of $220,000.

According to the Bird report, the new debt would produce an actual savings of over $20,000 a year.

• The council introduced an ordinance to remove the time limit on the Redevelopment Agency’s ability to go into debt. The council scheduled a session for Monday, March 7, to have a second reading of the ordinance. The ordinance would be adopted at that time. The results of that meeting were not available at press time.

“All we’re tring to do is protect our funds,” said Councilman Shanks.

• The council designated city representatives—agents—to request disaster relief funds from the California Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The staff report by Police Chief Jeff Kirkpatrick said preliminary repair costs generated by the winter storms of 2010 were estimated at $600,00.

Councilman Miller said he was concerned that the language of the resolution would give staff universal approval to seek funds from state and federal agencies. He said he wanted staff to come to the city council for approval each time.

He moved that sections two and three be pulled from the resolution so that staff would have to come to the council each time they sought disaster relief funds.

Police Chief Jeff Kirkpatrick said the police did not want to come back to the council each time it requested grants from FEMA.

The resolution was approved, with Miller’s proposed change, by a vote of 4-1. Councilman Shanks cast the dissenting vote.

•  District 1 Council member Ellery Deaton, who was sworn in that evening, said she thought everyone should be aware of Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach’s proposal to merge Seal Beach with Rossmoor and Los Alamitos, creating what she called a “super city.”

Since at least 2007, Moorlach has advocated merging the three communities. He has argued that the merger would provide better government for residents.

“I am, of course, completely and entirely opposed to it,” Deaton said. “Bigger is not better.”

Deaton encouraged the public to let Moorlach know what the public wants.

Seal Beach council considers community pool sites