The Texas pool and spa industry wants its voice heard in
the state legislature.
Several Texas pool professionals recently came together
to establish the Aquatic Professionals Education Council.
APEC is a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization based
loosely on SPEC, California’s highly effective
lobbying organization for the pool and spa industry.
“Quite a few people from IPSSA [Independent
Pool & Spa Service Association] decided we needed to
do something in Texas to effectively speak with our
legislators,” said Dan Gossage, president of APEC
and owner of Dan’s Pool Service in Boerne, Texas.
“Our [legislature] only meets every other year,
and we don’t face as many issues as they do in
California, but we wanted to have a voice.”
APEC bills its mission as promoting the interests of the
pool and spa industry by educating the government and
consumers. The organization had several informal meetings
in 2005. During that time, the group’s
spokesperson to the legislature, J. Kevin Tucker, helped
shelve HB 3455 and SB 100 — bills proposing
ineffective barrier requirements for pools and spas.
“We were able to successfully table the bill in
regard to pool fencing,” Gossage explained.
“It was going to require fencing around existing
portable spas. We’re not opposed to fencing
legislation; we just want the language to work with what
the industry knows to be true.”
Now that the state legislature has reconvened as of Jan.
9, APEC plans to renew its efforts exponentially. Gossage
expects the barrier bill to appear in a new form. In
addition, he has heard that state licensing legislation may
be in the works.
“We want to make sure legislation in Texas is
written and molded with the industry’s
guidance,” he said.
For now, APEC continues to promote awareness of its
mission among industry groups and conduct membership
drives. Gossage plans to send an APEC representative to all
upcoming industry association meetings throughout Texas
“It’s a struggle bringing awareness to
the builders,” said Gossage, who added that a
pending redesign of the group’s Web site will help
improve understanding. “Most people are a little
wary about the group. I’m hoping we can help them
better understand what our organization will do.
“Our goal is to achieve some unification among
the major trade associations and organizations in
Texas,” he added.
Recommended annual fees to join Austin, Texas-based APEC
range from $100 to $1,500. The donations are 90 percent
tax-deductible. For more information on the group or to
join, visit www.apectexas.org or call (866) 513-7946.