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Construction on Oskaloosa city pool is on track for opening day

City council considers leasing pool

by Dennis Sharkey

Construction on the new city pool in Oskaloosa is progressing toward opening day but decisions still need to be made about who will manage the pool.

Oskaloosa swimming pool

Construction on the new city pool in Oskaloosa is progressing toward opening day but decisions still need to be made about who will manage the pool.

One option the city is considering is leasing the pool to a private individual or organization. Exactly how the lease would work is still being determined City Clerk Patty Hamm said on Monday.

A familiar name to Oskaloosa parents surfaced at the meeting last Thursday, Jan. 5, as a possible person to lease the pool. Former Oskaloosa Elementary School Principal Darren Shupe was mentioned by Hamm. Shupe leases the city pool in Tonganoxie.

The other option would be to hire a manager to run the pool and the staff with the city being the responsible party.

Hamm said a decision needs to be made soon because the end of January is when she typically begins advertising for a pool manager.

Mayor Mike Paavola was the only member of the current council who was around the last time the city pool was open in 2010. He said the council should expect a visit from the Parks and Recreation Commission to ask questions about how the pool will be operated.

“(The Parks and Recreation Commission) would kind of like to see us handle it in a different way from the past,” Paavola said. “They are very concerned about that. Don’t be surprised if they come and ask us some questions.”

Paavola did not explain any further. The last time the pool was open in 2010 the relationship between the council and the manager that was hired deteriorated halfway through the summer and the manager was fired.

There were also some issues raised with former Mayor Mike Boyd for his handling of a disagreement with the manager.

Regardless of who manages the pool the chemicals and their handling will be done by city staff.

Councilman Gary Bryant said some of the chemicals used for the pool are extremely corrosive and teenagers wearing swimming suits and flip-flops could be in danger. Anytime a problem is discovered city staff are supposed to be called.

“If there’s an issue they get called anyhow,” Bryant said.

The council also approved a payment of $51,800 to the contractor working on the pool. In total the city has paid more than $89,000 and $54,000 is still owed.

The Parks and Recreation Commission committed $50,000 toward the project but the two groups have not met since construction began.

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Posted by on Jan 17 2012. Filed under Featured, 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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