Some Oskaloosa residents urging city to begin work on pool
by Dennis Sharkey
With a lot of unknowns surrounding the condition of the Oskaloosa city pool, some residents are getting restless perceiving a lack of motivation to get moving.
Dottie Hissong approached the council last week to offer her services and time to solicit bids and gather information about the pool. She said looking for answers now will save headaches later.
“We wouldn’t just be losing time,” she said. “We could be doing some work in the down time.”
Some residents recently have expressed concerns that the city won’t fix the pool at all and say that is the reason that city officials are dragging their feet.
Some on the council said there’s no use to solicit bids when the city has no money to move forward. Mayor Mike Boyd said he doesn’t want to solicit bids knowing they are not going to do any work.
“Once we figure out our scope of work, I would like to get busy on it,” Boyd said.
Hissong questioned why the scope was not being determined.
“Without knowing what is recommended for repair, nothing is happening,” she said. “How will you figure them out without the assistance of someone’s expertise? Why is there a delay in determining the scope of work?”
Boyd attempted to calm any fears of procrastination by pointing to his own personal situation with having children who are also distraught about not having a pool.
“I want this pool back open just as bad as the kids do,” Boyd said.
City Superintendent Bill Heard said some work can be done by city crews, such as concrete demolishtion work.
Councilman John Norman also said the city needs to focus on obtaining some expert opinions so the city is prepared when the time comes to solicit bids.
“We could need $200,000 or we could need $60,000,” Norman said “We don’t have a clue where we’re at.
“It would nice to know, if you’re going to have somebody come bid, that everything we think might be done rather than guessing what we might want,” he added.
Boyd said if some unforseen issues lie below the surface, the city may have to keep the pool shut down longer than antisipated.
“If they come in at $100,000, who knows,” Boyd said about fixing the pool this year. “If we find a giant crack then we’re in deep money.”
Councilman Allen Wise said he recently spoke with a local contractor that has extensive knowledge in pool consturction. He said the contractor also suggested the city begin any under the surface pool work this year. Wise said they need to bring the contractor to a meeting.
“None of us sitting here knows squat about a pool and we’re trying to speculate,” Wise said “Bidding is after you know what needs to be done.
“There’s no reason to wait to get opinions about what needs to be done,” he added.
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