Groves Pool to be demolished; land could be used to enhance park

Published 7:38 pm Monday, March 21, 2016

GROVES — There wasn’t a spaghetti western playing out as Groves councilmembers were forced to look at the good, the bad and the ugly of its aging pool facility.

“We anguished over the pool,” Councilmember Kyle Hollier said after the decision was unanimously approved to dismantle the pool and reclaim the property at Lion’s Park on Monday. “We really did look at the good, the bad and the ugly.”

The good — the pool itself that has served generations of residents is a happy reminder of summer days learning how to swim. The bad includes the dwindling usage, 15 to 20 on a average day with some days only seeing five or six swimmers with the exception of YMCA programs and pool parties while the ugly is the $200,000 cost to repair the pool that was built in 1955 coupled with maintenance costs of about $10,000 for 10 weeks the pool is open.

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Hollier called it a “tough call” but one of the things council had to do while looking at the betterment of the city.

Groves City Manager D. Sosa made the recommendation to dismantle the pool and reclaim the property, adding the project can be done in-house for a cost savings. His proposal is to tear down the bathhouse and reclaim that land for parking. The pool area, once filled in, could house a playscape for younger children to play. The area is already fenced in and this could be a plus to the idea.

Whether or not to keep the concession stand remains up in the air. Sosa said the park always has good attendance and the concession stand could be used by nonprofits while Mayor Brad Bailey wasn’t so sure about the idea.

Councilmember Jim Rasa suggested a different method of looking at the issue.

“I would like to suggest that instead of a piecemeal approach to the maintenance and improvement of our city parks we form a parks committee. This committee would be made up of representatives of groups with vested interests in the development of a comprehensive park system for betterment of our community; citizens, athletic organizations, the chamber of commerce, city management, public works and elected officials,” Rasa said.

The committee, he said, would collect proposed changes to the parks, solicit recommendations and suggestions from interested and affected parties, determine the impacts, benefits and financial feasibility of the changes in terms of the entire city park system and formulate and present the findings and recommendations to the city manager and council.

The issue of forming a committee as well as talk of adding a 25 X 50 galvanized pavilion near the Lincoln Avenue side of the park will be included in the council’s next scheduled meeting in two weeks.

Demolition of the pool and bathhouse will have to wait until the end of the summer, as the city will begin its 2016 streets program projects on April 1, Sosa said.


Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews


Groves to consider closing pool; officials cite high repair, maintenance costs, dwindling usage