In the early 1970’s we, the members of Fraternity Snoqualmie, were enjoying our large and beautiful swimming pool which had been constructed only a few years earlier (See “Up on the Hill”, IX). But we had a problem. The ogre of county bureaucracy was breathing down our necks. Although the water was crystal clear and consistently scored high in tests for cleanliness and absence of harmful bacteria, there were problems that had not been anticipated when the pool was built contours of the bottom of the pool, lack of an enclosure and other safety features, you name it. Our pool, our pride and joy, did not conform to county codes. We were given an ultimatum. We had no choice but to replace the pool with one that satisfied all the applicable codes. What could we do? Appoint a committee!
The committee began an intensive study of what it would take to construct a pool that satisfied the codes and also the club’s needs. After a few meetings and a few contacts with contractors and pool equipment suppliers, the committee quickly reached two conclusions: (1) The new pool must be much smaller than the existing pool. No way, even in our wildest dreams, could we afford a regulation pool of comparable size, and (2) The pool should be constructed by an established pool contractor. We lacked the expertise required to do an acceptable job within our financial constraints.
The committee then concentrated on preparing a proposal for presentation to the membership with emphasis on size, location, and, last but by no means least, a financing plan. It didn’t take long to decide on a 25’ x 50’ pool located at what was then one end of the existing pool. Then came the big question, “How are we going to pay for it?” This would be (and still remains) the most expensive single project ever undertaken by Fraternity Snoqualmie. We needed to raise something like $25,000. Bake sales, rummage sales, and raffles wouldn’t cut it. Raising the dues would be risky. The resulting loss of members could mean a loss of revenue rather than a gain. A loan from a bank would do the trick but the interest could be a killer.
The committee wrestled with these concerns. Finally, several weeks and several meetings later a financing plan had jelled. The elements of the financing plan were: (1) Sale of bonds. A limited number of bonds were prepared and sold (primarily to members) to be redeemed with interest in five years, (2) Advance payment of dues (limited in number). Pay five years dues in advance at the current rate. Pay no more for five years, even if there is a dues increase, (3) A one-time assessment of $25 per member, (4) Donations are always welcome. It sounded good to the committee, but would the members approve it?
On a sunny day in the summer of 1974, a special membership meeting was held on the lawn. Nearly a hundred members attended. The pool proposal was presented and discussed. The size and location were approved overwhelmingly. Then paper ballots were distributed for a vote on the financing plan. The committee members held their breath as the ballots were collected. The results: Yes ninety something, No two. WE DID IT!
A contract was awarded and construction began. By mid-summer, 1975, we had a pool! It wasn’t heated; there wasn’t a wading pool nor a hot tub. These would come later. But we had a regulation pool. We were happy. The county was happy. What more could we ask for?!