Group discusses Fayette's pool 7.16

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

More than 40 people attended a public meeting last week to discuss the fate of Fayette’s community swimming pool. The park board will continue the conversation at its meeting tonight (Wednesday).

“It was a great turnout,” village administrator Amy Metz told village council members Thursday night, “and a nice platform for people to express opinions.”

She characterized those in attendance as split down the middle in support for repairing/rebuilding vs. those who think it should be closed and resources devoted to other park projects.

At the meeting, Metz gave a brief history of the pool, noting that the initial effort started in 1971 with the formation of a non-profit corporation known as the Fayette Fund for Progress.

She said the pool has served as an important asset and a source of community pride.

Park board president Jen Williams explained that the group didn’t favor closing the facility this summer, but lack of money for repairs and maintenance left no other choice.

Park director Scott Wagner said the estimated cost for repairs is $100,000. Over the past three years, expenditures have exceeded revenue by about $16,000 annually.

In addition to repairs to the pool and deck, parts for the aging chlorination system are no longer available. He said Wauseon and Archbold spend about $20,000 each year in maintenance to prepare their pools for opening.

The park board receives $28,000 a year through a millage—a figure that’s expected to decrease due to a change in the state’s tax structure—but this money must be used for all park projects, including the pool.

If a new pool were installed, Trent Lavinder said, new state regulations would have to be followed and those would add to the costs.

It was suggested that both townships would need to get involved with financing a pool since about 40 percent of users live outside the village.

Discussion also included fund raisers and the shortage of volunteers to help with events, and seeking donations from businesses. Mike Figgins pointed out that tough financial times could limit donations by businesses.

Other suggestions included seeking a levy for a new pool and creating a long-term plan for repair or for a new pool.

Mayor Anita VanZile challenged those at the meeting to consider the value of the pool to the community.

A resident asked how the park board’s $28,000 would be used if the pool were abandoned. Williams said the board has talked about other park needs, such as new playground equipment, a skateboard park and improving existing facilities such as the basketball courts and ball fields.

Additional revenue and expense data will be collected and the board will continue to discuss the issue at its meetings. As of last week, the park board was still in need of a volunteer to join the group.

Metz noted later that the athletic booster group is seeking donations for construction of athletic facilities at the new school. Discussion needs to continue about the future of the park facilities when new fields are built at the school.

  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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