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.

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
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  • 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.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.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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