Regional leaders jump in with both feet to bring aquatic center to Tri Cities

TRI CITIES -- A long-awaited decision has finally been made on which regional project will come to the Tri Cities.

For years, the Regional Public Facilities District (PFD) has been considering several different projects to bring to the community. But Wednesday night, representatives from all three cities settled on an Aquatics Center.

The hope is to put the competition-sized pool and water park at the TRAC facility in Pasco. It will still require a transfer of land from Franklin County to the Pasco PFD, which is asking nearly $4-million for the property. But as long as that agreement can be ironed out, leaders from all three cities say an Aquatics Center will benefit the entire region.

The project passed 7-to-2, with two representatives from Kennewick saying an expansion at the Three Rivers Convention Center is much more feasible and critical to the local economy. It's why the city's PFD may actually pursue that project on its own.

Both projects would ultimately require a 0.1 percent sales tax increase that would have to be approved by voters. District members tell KEPR they will be working hard to bring the issue to the ballot this year or early next year.