Candidates propose swimming beach at Tempe Town Lake

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Two political candidates want to create a real beach at Tempe Town Lake.
Tempe mayoral candidate Michael Monti and City Council candidate Dick Foreman say you shouldn't have to go all the way to San Diego to take a walk on a sandy beach or go swimming.

"People have been saying we've got this wonderful lake, this great asset, but why can't we swim there?" Monti said. "From the very beginning they've wanted to swim, but there's been problems that needed to be solved. So we decided, Dick and I, it's time to tackle this challenge and get it done."

They're proposing bringing in sand and creating a separate chlorinated swimming area.

So far, swimming in the lake has only been allowed at special events such as triathlons. The city has allowed kayaking, rowing and sailing on Town Lake for more than a decade.

While there are costs to consider such as construction, maintenance and chlorination, Monti and Foreman believe this can be done with minimal use of public funds.

They propose paying for the project by selling concession space and collecting day-use fees from out-of-town users.

The candidates are planning to hold a focus group meeting on Dec. 20.