On Tuesday, the Tracy City Council discussed the Surland Companies-backed aquatics center.

In October 2018, there was a “groundbreaking” ceremony at the Surland/Ellis development to celebrate the aquatics center. To date, “ground” has not “broken,” and there has been no development of the aquatics center.

The original project, described in October 2018, cost $54 million and included a 50-meter competition pool, waterslides, a lazy river, and an indoor pool.

On Tuesday, Surland updated their cost projections. Surland presented three options and requested council approval. In the first option, for $54 million, Surland would build an aquatics center consisting of only waterslides and a lazy river. Incredibly, for this amount, Tracy wouldn’t even get a pool! The second option, at $80 million, included the much-needed pool, waterslides and a lazy river. The third option, the original project described by Surland last year, and originally projected to cost $54 million, has ballooned to $130 million!

While I understand inflation and escalating costs, in the span of one year, Surland would have the citizens of Tracy believe the costs for the original proposed project have jumped from $54 million to $130 million. That is more than double!

Was Surland incompetent in 2018 when they originally estimated $54 million? Or are they incompetent now, when they tout the same project for $130 million? Either way, why should the citizens of Tracy trust Surland or their fuzzy math? With their lack of progress and ballooning costs, Surland does not seem serious about building the aquatics center.

The bottom line, however, is that the citizens of Tracy have spoken and they want an aquatics center. It is incumbent on the City Council to ensure that an aquatics center is built promptly and that our tax dollars are spent appropriately.

Todd Lieberg, Tracy

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