By Michele Smith
the Times 

Will Dayton Permanently Shutter its Pool?

City Council and Friends of the Pool met last week to discuss options

 

December 6, 2018

Michele Smith

Last week, Vicki Zoller, President of the Friends of the Dayton Community Pool accepted a $1,000 award from N.W. Farm Credit Services, to help with the costs of a swimming pool feasibility study. L to r: Vicki Zoller, David and Diann McKinley and Jonathan Bailey, representing N. W. Farm Credit Services.

DAYTON-The Friends of the Dayton Community Pool met with city officials last week to discuss whether, and if so, how to move forward on repairing or replacing Dayton's pool.

The city's 35-year-old pool was closed for safety reasons this summer because of infrastructure problems, including a leaking pool tank, inoperable boiler and water heater systems, and dangerously cracked decks.

City officials and the Friends group have reviewed the condition assessment report performed by an architectural firm the city hired to inspect the pool and make recommendations.

According to that report, repairing and restoring the pool to meet current code requirements would be considered a major renovation, and would cost more than replacing the pool with a "like" facility.

City Administrator Trina Cole said the cost for building a whole new facility is around $27 million. Added to that are ongoing costs for operations and maintenance. In the past the city has supplemented the pool budget to the tune of around $60,000, each year. Cole said that is not sustainable. "We have zero dollars," she said.

County assessor Chris Mills has said the voters within the city limits of Dayton would have to approve a bond to replace the pool, or a maintenance and operations levy to maintain the pool.

City councilwoman Kathy Berg said she can't see asking people to pay for a new pool, when there are other big-ticket items, including street repairs, that need to be done. "The pool is on the back burner," said Berg, at the meeting.

Berg said the Parks Committee will recommend shuttering the pool permanently when the city council meets next Wednesday.

Councilman Dain Nysoe said that, although he understands the city's predicament, he disagrees with that recommendation.

"The pool is an integral part of Dayton's infrastructure," he said.

Nysoe said he had an opportunity to ask people for their thoughts about the pool while canvassing the community during his recent bid for a seat on the Board of Commissioners.

"Every single person wanted a covered, indoor pool," said Nysoe.

He said an indoor pool could be used by students at the schools for swim lessons, swim meets and aqua therapy.

The public will get to have a say when the city includes surveys with utility bills sometime in the spring.

In the meantime, the Friends of the Dayton Community Pool will contact other small communities to see how they pay for and maintain their pools.

Grant-writing efforts will continue, as well, and the committee will continue to meet with city officials, "to keep the conversation alive," said Zoller.

The next meeting of the FDCP will take place on December 18 at 5:30 in the Delany Room at the library. For more information, contact Vicki Zoller at: vickizoller@hotmail.com.

 

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