Archive for Thursday, May 10, 2001

Swimming pool repairs more costly than thought

May 10, 2001

The De Soto City Council was forced to spend more money than it had planned to get the city swimming pool in condition to open this year.

During a meeting last month, the De Soto City Council gave City Administrator Gerald Cooper authorization to spend up to $2,500 to repair to pool so that it can open this summer.

Last Thursday, Cooper told the council the repairs would cost $9,600. The repairs involve the removal and replacement of the pool's curbing and interior three feet of the deck. C&R Concrete of Lawrence started the work this week.

While Councilman Brad Seaman questioned the wisdom of pouring more money into the pool, Councilman John Taylor said the council needed to live up to its earlier commitment to open the pool this year. The Miller Park pool serves De Soto children who can't afford to travel to pools elsewhere in Johnson County or Lawrence, Taylor said.

The council agreed and authorized the repairs Cooper suggested. But the decision didn't end the rekindled debate about how the council should address the problems long term.

"Obviously, one of the problems we have is a pool problem" said newly sworn-in Mayor Dave Anderson. "How do we want to address that? Do you want to spend more money on that pool there or close it down?"

The other options would be to build a new pool or "get out of the pool business," Anderson said.

"We have to select one of those slots," he said. "I think we all agree we need to start doing that this year."

A new pool comes with construction and maintenance costs, the mayor said. Mitra Templin, a member of the De Soto Park and Recreation Commission's pool committee, will attend the council's May 17 meeting to share preliminary estimates of those costs and to request the city hire a consultant to develop them further, he said.

In other business, the council:

Learned from City Attorney Patrick Reavey that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is requesting Sealright Packing Co. take over the easement for the railroad spur that serves the company and Rehrig-Pacific Corp.

Sealright, in turn, has suggested the city take over the easement, Reavey said. The city would pass along the cost of maintaining the easement and insuring the rail spur to the companies it serves, he said.

Reavey and Cooper agreed the arrangement would be in the best interest of the city.

"The thing cuts a pretty wide swath through the city," Reavey said. "I think the city would want to control that property."

There are many unanswered questions, Reavey acknowledged. The corps may want to remove the spurs rails and ties, he said.

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