NEW HAVEN — A recent roundtable discussion on the New Haven Municipal Swimming Pool drew nearly two dozen Bend Area residents to the community center.
The roundtable was held by town officials, who were hoping to receive input to make sure the swimming season is a successful one. The pool was in jeopardy of closing earlier this year due to loss of revenue last season.
Mayor Jerry Spradling said during the meeting that the town has received approximately $3,200 in monetary donations thus far to offset expenses. In addition, Jamie Roush of RK Innovations, LLC, has donated chemicals for the pool for the entire season. The mayor, and council member Matt Shell, estimated the value of the chlorine donation to be around $8,000.
Town officials attending emphasized their goal is not to make the pool a profitable venture, but to only break even and not be a burden on the town.
The goals of the residents attending the roundtable were getting enough donations to enable the town to offer free admission this year, as well as keeping the cost of concessions at a minimum. It was suggested that churches be contacted and asked to donate at least $50 each toward these goals. Efforts to contact businesses for donations will continue, as well.
Volunteer pool manager Bernita Allen noted that the admission price has been lowered in past years, going from a one-time cost of $4 per person, to $3, and finally last year to $2. If enough donations are not received, the admission will remain at $2 for this year.
Various ideas to draw a larger crowd to the pool were discussed. It was decided to allow families to bring coolers in with their own food and drinks to keep attendee costs at a minimum. Coolers were not allowed inside the pool area in the past. It was noted drinks must be contained in sealed plastic bottles or cans (no glass), and coolers will be inspected.
Another idea was to possibly have “free lunch Fridays,” although details were not finalized. After a donation of over $130 was collected from those attending the meeting, it was decided to give each person a free bottle of water each day they attend the pool during the season.
Allen said work will begin soon to gear up for the June 8 opening. She said it takes about two weeks for the pool to fill with water, and must be inspected by the health department prior to swimming taking place.
The pool will remain open until the first Saturday in August. Hours will be noon to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The pool can also be rented for private parties at $90 for two hours, with lifeguards provided.
Resident Phyllis Arthur suggested that a committee be established for year-round fundraising so the same issue of whether to open the pool does not occur next year. Those attending agreed, and Mayor Spradling appointed Arthur to the committee, along with Alice Humphreys and Lisa Crump. Additional members might be appointed at a later date.
The mayor concluded the meeting by stating the pool will be a topic of discussion at future council meetings leading up to the opening date. Final decisions on various pool items will be made by that government body. The next council meeting is Monday at 6 p.m.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.