Council opts to patch pool, rebuild later
The De Soto City Council has decided to do the minimum repairs necessary to keep the Miller Park swimming pool open this summer.
Last Thursday, the council voted unanimously to give City Administrator Gerald Cooper the authority to spend up to $2,500 to repair the pool's deck. Two weeks ago, De Soto Parks and Recreation Director Jay Garvin discovered large chunks of the deck's concrete surface had deteriorated over the harsh winter.
In approving the $2,500 authorization, the council rejected a suggestion that the deck be resurfaced with a layer of epoxy and river rock. That remedy, which Garvin said could last five years with regular sealing, would have cost an estimated $26,000.
"I'm not for putting $20,000 into that pool," Councilman Brad Seaman said. "It's a sinking ship."
Councilman Tim Maniez agreed, adding that the city didn't have $26,000 in its budget to pay for the more expensive fix. The goal should be to do minimum repairs needed to get the pool through this summer, he said.
Tuesday, Cooper said the city is soliciting proposals for the repairs. He didn't think $2,500 would cover the needed repairs.
"It's deteriorated pretty bad," he said. "I think its going to take more than that to make it safe."
Cooper said he hoped the pool could be repaired by for its scheduled Memorial Day opening.
The city did get some good news concerning the pool. Councilman Linda Zindler's husband, John, has found parts, thought to be off the market, needed to repair the pool's filtration system.
Mitra Templin, a member of the De Soto Parks and Recreation's pool committee addressed the council last Thursday before it made the decision. She urged the council not to throw more cash into the "money pit" that the Miller Park pool has became.
The pool committee studied renovation of the current pool before recommending the city enter into a partnership with the De Soto school district to construct an indoor/outdoor pool complex at De Soto High School.
Templin explained to the council that the committee made that recommendation after determining the district's contribution of land, lockers and parking would allow the indoor/outdoor complex to be built for just $500,000 more than an outdoor pool built on city property.
The extra money would provide a facility that could be used by the whole community, from children to seniors, Templin said.
The pool committee is now working to develop estimates of the annual operating costs and maintenance expenses of a new pool, Templin said. To do so, will look at a new outdoor pool built in Baldwin and an indoor pool in Lawrence, she said.