Will Fayette's pool close for good? 06.23.2010

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

When Fayette’s Park Board first talked about permanently closing the community’s swimming pool, there was some dissent from community members who weren’t ready to let the recreational resource slip away.

Two years later, said park director Scott Wagner, donations for repairs have been few and fund-raising volunteers even scarcer.

“The board is planning to go ahead with the final closing on Aug. 31,” Wagner said in a report to village council last week. “We are checking on the proper closing procedures.”

The pool was constructed in 1972 and has exceeded its 25-year life expectancy. The need for extensive repairs were noted in 2006 and when a community meeting was scheduled to gauge community interest in the pool’s future, only one member of the public attended.

The pool never opened in the summer of 2008. Operational costs were exceeding revenue by at least $17,000 a year, and a repair estimate suggested $100,000 was needed address structural problems.

The park board made a concerted effort to publicize another public meeting to discuss the fate of the pool and this time 44 people attended.

Opinion was split on the future of the facility, with about half of those attending saying that resources devoted to the pool would be better spent on other recreational needs.

Last year the Park Board recommended filling in the structure to alleviate safety concerns, but village council voted in May 2009 to wait a three-year period in order to explore funding.

At that time, however, council member Gerry Gonzales stated that as a former park board member, he didn’t believe the pool would ever be operational again.

The deepest portion of the pool now contains stagnant water which the board intends to have drained for Bullthistle Festival weekend.

“We need to get the weeds cut down and clean up the best we can,” Wagner said.

He said the board is also concerned about the stagnant water serving as a mosquito-breeding pond.

Council member Rodney Kessler asked what would be done with the donations that were made to the pool fund. Wagner said donors would have to be contacted to ask what should be done with the money.

SUMMER BALL—Wagner said about 125 children are involved in summer ball teams, along with 18 volunteer coaches.

Fayette has two T-ball teams, four mini parent-pitch teams, two boys Little League teams, a Pony and Acme League team for boys and a girls 14-and-under softball team.

The adult league has seven co-ed teams and 11 mens teams. Participation is down this year, Wagner said, due to new leagues forming in Wauseon.

MUSIC FEST: Planning is underway for the third annual Music Fest scheduled Aug. 21.

PIZZA—This year’s fund-raiser through the Pizza Stop was the most successful one yet. Four hundred pizzas were sold the first year, 320 last year and 508 this year.

MISCELLANEOUS—New fencing will be erected in a portion of the park and the hopes to resurface the basketball courts.

The board is considering an increase in shelter house rental fees and Creighton Electric is proceeding on maintenance of the ball field lights.

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