Fayette pool won't open this summer 4.16

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Hope for a cool summer ahead because Fayette’s cooling off spot won’t be available this year.

Village council members voted unanimously Thursday to accept the park board’s recommendation to close the community swimming pool for the summer.

“We voted to close the pool for at least this year due to funding,” park board president Jen Williams said.fay.pool.jpg

The board would reopen the pool in 2009 if funding were available, but board members don’t see how that could happen without a levy for maintenance. The board will explore placing the issue on the November ballot.

Board members have begun discussing a variety of fund-raising activities for pool operation, but maintenance needs could only be filled by a large infusion of cash.

Village employee Scott Wagner told council that operational costs came in at about $22,300 last year, but admission revenue amounted to only to about $5,000. That shortfall is covered by the $18,000 the park board receives from the existing park levy.

“All the money we get is being used to pay for the pool,” Wagner said. “It’s not fair at all.”

The basketball courts need resurfacing, he said, and when old playground equipment breaks, it has to be replaced because of insurance regulations. There’s also been discussion about adding another volleyball court, Wagner said.

Even if fund-raisers were successful enough to cover operational costs, expensive repairs are needed. Wagner received an estimate of $100,000 to address the problems  of the 30-plus year-old pool and perhaps four times that amount to construct a new pool.

“We don’t like to close it,” Williams said. “We know it’s a big part of the community.”

Wagner said there were two public meetings scheduled last year to discuss the pool. No one showed up for one meeting and one person came to the other.

“That showed me there isn’t much interest in the community,” he said.

With the pool closed, park revenue would cover the cost of five summer park employees—estimated at $12,500—and provide some funding for future projects.

Council members also approved the request to hire five employees who will be paid on a per-job basis rather than an hourly rate.

Williams said board members want to expand the board to include representatives from Gorham and Franklin Township.

That idea has come up in past years, also, said councilor Ruth Marlatt.

“It comes up now and then and it stalls,” she said.

The townships could also share in the cost burden of the park, council member Jerry Gonzales said.

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017