Camas City Council rejects LaCamas Swim deal

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Camas city officials have long hoped to open a public recreation center for the community.

Then, when the owner of LaCamas Swim & Sport proposed selling her facility to the city this year, they finally saw their opportunity. But the city council rejected the idea during a discussion at a Monday night workshop, finding the purchase too expensive.

Funding to buy the building would have come from a $5.4 million bond. The land around the facility was appraised at $1.2 million, and the city expected to put about $500,000 worth of renovations into the facility.

City Administrator Pete Capell pushed hard for the purchase, but by the end of Monday night he could see he was fighting a losing battle. For decades, the city has sought options for a community center.

Capell said LaCamas Swim presented a much cheaper alternative to building a facility from scratch. With that out of the picture, Capell said he doesn’t think the city will have another opportunity for a community center in the foreseeable future.

Now, talks will shift to the future of the Crown Park pool. The aging pool is in need of renovations, but it still draws a crowd on hot summer days.