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The citizens of Artesia will have to continue waiting if they hope to see a community swimming pool any time in the near future.

Councilor Jeff Youtsey revisited the subject of a pool at the Artesia City Council meeting two weeks ago. The topic has been discussed several times by the council since the demolition of the Artesia High School Natatorium and has been championed by many Artesians – including local physicians and the AHS swim team – who were affected by the loss of a facility that offered opportunities for both sport and health.

The council has conducted research into the cost associated with constructing a new facility that would meet the needs of the community, as well as into potential locations, but last night decided against putting a pool on the upcoming ballot as a bond.

“Most communities don’t build a pool using a bond; if we take this to the voters and they say no, it’s very hard to say, ‘Well, they didn’t know what they were talking about, so let’s build one anyway,’” said Mayor Phil Burch. “If they say yes, then we’re pretty much forced to build a pool.”

Although the council will not put the item on the ballot, all councilors are hopeful for the future of a potential community pool.

“There will be a time when our economy gets back where we’re used to seeing it and the idea of building a pool will be brought back to the table,” said Burch. “There is a need and, at some point, we’re going to build one.”

In other business at last night’s meeting, the councilors voted to hire Ricardo Fierro as an assistant in the Wastewater Department at a pay rate of $2,363 per month.

Police Chief Don Raley also addressed the Artesia Police Department’s recent arrests of Daryl S. Carson, 26, and Robert K. Hubbell, 25, in connection with several burglary cases around town.

“We’ve recovered a lot of stolen property, including electronics,” said Raley. “We’ve been able to return a lot of property to a lot of people.”

Additionally, the councilors voted to approve a Letter of Intent for the Regional Air Service. American Airlines will begin a flight from Roswell to Phoenix in March, and they will soon begin their marketing campaign to promote the service.