Council defers pool decision

City Council voted 4-1 Monday night to put the discussion of saving the defunct pool at South Valley Middle School in the lap of the Gilroy Unified School District to give them the opportunity to discuss how much they could contribute to the $621,850 estimated price tag to fix and operate the pool for one year. 

The discussion about whether to save the SVMS pool – and whose responsibility is it to save – has bounced back and forth between Council and the Gilroy Unified School District for almost a year. 

Council decided to let GUSD discuss the latest cost estimate before they committed any funds to the project, citing the additional funds that the school may have in their budget because of the passing of Proposition 30.

“We want them to say ‘we’re wiling to do xyz’ and we will decide from there,” said Mayor Al Pinheiro.

Councilman Bob Dillon called the project “outrageous” and made it clear that he would not be voting to save the pool at any significant expense to the City, but voted to let GUSD have the chance to evaluate the expense nonetheless.

Councilman Peter Arellano was the lone oppositional vote. Arellano wanted Council to commit to a lump of money they would provide for the project right away. 

“Quit playing with it. Just do it,” Arellano said. 

Five community members showed up to the meeting to implore Council to pay for fixing the pool. 

“In recent years we have had a lot of resources poured into a certain side of the city. Let’s not forget the east side,” said Rebecca Perez, a 2000 graduate of SVMS. 

Council agreed to explore the topic again during their Jan. 7 meeting, after GUSD has had a chance to discuss what they can contribute and report back to Council. 

Councilmen Perry Woodward and Dion Bracco were absent from Monday’s meeting. 

Also during Monday’s meeting:

Council approved a development project on a 5-0 vote for 68 single family homes on a 70 acre site on the westside of Rancho Hills Drive in the northwest quad. 

The DeNova Homes development includes single story and two story homes with very similar layouts in three different architectural styles (cottage, Monterey and Spanish).  

The housing track is a part of the Rancho Hills/Deer Park development which began in the early 1980s, according to City Planner Melissa Durkin.

Councilwoman Cat Tucker initially showed some skepticism about the development, saying that the homes didn’t look as detailed or well-executed as other homes in the area. 

“To me, these look very plain and don’t look anything like the other homes in the area,” Tucker said. 

Durkin convinced Tucker that the proposed homes fit in nicely with the style of the other homes in the northwest quad, and Tucker ultimately voted in favor of the project. 

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