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.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Front.batter

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