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Oskaloosa City Council discusses fixes for swimming pool

by Dennis Sharkey

As families around Oskaloosa begin to bundle up for winter, the Oskaloosa City Council has hot summer days on their minds.

The city is more than six months away from opening the city pool for another season but concerns about the pool’s condition are still looming.

Last week councilmembers reviewed a bid submitted by a contractor to rehabilitate the pool’s bowl. City Superintendent Bill Heard said the city solicited bids last spring, however, this recent bid was submitted late because the contractor was busy at the time. However, the bid of about $78,700 was more than the city’s annual budget for operating the pool. The city spends about $70,000 a year in operating costs for the pool.

If the city had the funding, Heard said concrete work would have to begin immediately so that the plaster work could be done in the spring. But, the city doesn’t have the money.

“I go back to the statement I made in the spring that made a lot of people mad,” Heard said. “The only way we’re going to fix this pool financially is to shut it down for a year. In my mind you have no other option.”

Heard said the contractor told him that he does not see how the city can open the pool next year in the current condition. Much of the plaster in the bowl is peeling and breaking off causing shards of concrete to exist that could and have cut patrons’ feet. City Clerk Patty Hamm said the city receives numerous complaints each year about cut feet.

Heard said the pool’s condition has been bad for 10 years and disagrees that the city could not open the pool next year. He said city crews could patch the pool every spring.

“It’s going to get rougher and it will entail more work every spring,” he said.

Heard also said that the pool will get to a point where the city will not be able to repair the it.

“It’s going to shut itself down eventually,” Heard said. “When that day comes, who knows?”

Councilman Jim Faris acknowledged that the city does have a problem but the pool may be down the list of problems the city faces at this time.

“As much I would like to see that taken care of as soon as humanly possible, we’re going to have to wait at least another year,” Faris said.

Councilwoman Kelly Hattemer, who oversees the pool, was not present at the meeting.

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Posted by on Dec 3 2010. Filed under County News, Government, Municipalities, Oskaloosa. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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