Come in — The water’s fine: But some in Port Arthur say city should have more pool options

Published 11:56 pm Saturday, July 7, 2018

Summer’s most grueling heat is fast approaching, and there’s few better ways to beat the heat than having a nice dip in the pool. As it is, the city of Port Arthur operates three public pools with two currently open to the public.

However, some residents think the city needs more.

Hours of operation

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Located south of Gulfway Drive, the three locations provide a pool experience at affordable costs. Residents and non-residents are charged a flat fee: $1 for adults, 50 cents for kids.

The Walter Mosley Sr. Swimming Facility, or Mosley Pool, is open Tuesdays through Sundays. It’s open from noon to 3:25 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, from noon to 6 p.m. Fridays, from noon to 7 p.m. Saturdays and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.

The swimming pool at the Port Arthur Recreation and Senior Citizen Center is open from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

The Lakeview Swimming Pool is currently closed for repairs.

Waiting for parts

“Lakeview is locked down because it needs some major repairs,” Johnny Brown of the city’s Parks & Recreation department said.

Brown wasn’t able to give a timetable for when the Lakeview Pool would be reopened.

“We’re in the process of looking at some things and addressing major problems,” Brown said.

Repairs on the pool have been lengthened due to waiting for necessary equipment from out of country to arrive. However, Brown said the department now has the appropriate equipment and is in the process of repairing it.

He stressed that the department has cleaned the pool and is working on making it available to the public once again.

“It’s expensive,” Brown said. “We have to budget for it every year.”

Brown said the pools have different groups like Salvation Army who go periodically to encourage youth activity and summer events.

“We have over 200 kids who show up on Fridays at the (Mosley) pool,” Brown said. “We do utilize the pool for the community.”

More could be done

John Beard, former councilman and current Pleasure Island commissioner, said more could be done.

“Overall, the recreational opportunity for children and families in town are lacking,” he said.

Beard argued that the number of pools and splash pads in the city were not nearly enough for a city with Port Arthur’s population.

The city of Port Arthur operates one splash pad at Gilliam Circle Park and a spray fountain across the street from the Port Arthur Pavilion downtown.

It currently has two operational pools.

Beard called pools a good recreational outlet for the community, but contends that the city doesn’t have enough of them due to certain council decisions.

“We have been in reactionary mode too long,” he said. “They’ve failed to adequately plan for contingency.”

Economic and quality-of-life concerns were some of the issues Beard listed when a city like Port Arthur doesn’t have enough recreational outlets.

“The economic aspect comes when there’s no one to maintain it and put people to work to build it…” he said. “And if quality of life isn’t good enough where families could use them then you don’t have a lot to offer people looking to have a good quality of life.

“So, we have to look at the needs we have and enhance them.”

Beard said that kind of change starts at City Hall and with citizens who are willing to go there and demand change.