GLASGOW – Concerns about pouring more money to keep the city-owned swimming pool in use and updates on bathrooms and shelters at two other parks dominated the conversation Monday at the Glasgow Common Council Parks and Recreation Committee meeting.
Eddie Furlong, director of the Glasgow Parks and Recreation Department, said he spoke with James Spence, carpentry instructor at the Barren County Area Technology Center, last week about shelters they want to build at Twyman and Gorin parks, and he was waiting for him to get back with him.
“We’re going to purchase all the supplies, and they had agreed to do the work. I’m hoping they’re still on board, because it’s been awhile since we met and talked about that,” he said.
Councilwoman Chasity Lowery, who chairs the committee, said she believed it had been 13 months. Council members Brad Groce and Freddie Norris also expressed frustration with how long the plans for the shelters and bathrooms for the two parks were taking, as they had put funding for it in the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
The project has been pending getting designs and/or specifications from Mayor Harold Armstrong, who was asked to join the meeting once he arrived in the Council Chambers next door for the full council meeting that followed the committee meeting, and he provided his own update. Essentially, he said the rough sketches are done, but they have to be put into a drafting program, an engineer must sign off on them, and then they will have to be approved by state officials.
A few different options were discussed as to how to get that accomplished, and a target date for advertising for bids on construction of the bathrooms was set for March. Simultaneously, Furlong is gathering information on some prefabricated bathrooms to bring back and share.
Before the mayor’s arrival Furlong said that this coming summer will make 12 years since season pass prices for the pool have changed, so the pool management team was looking at updating that.
Currently, it’s $150 for a family of five, all living in the same household, and $25 for each additional person, or $100 for a single membership.
The pool team proposed changing it to $200 for a family of five, specifying no more than two adults 18 or above, and $25 for each additional child under 18, but keeping the single membership the same. A new thing proposed is prorated pricing for those who get passes when it’s already more than 50 days into the season. Those prices would be $100 for a family, and still $25 for additional children, and $50 for single.
“We just wanted to try to offer some different things to help the citizens in our community,” Furlong said.
He had provided several statistics on the same summary sheet, including that the family pass patrons use the pool an average of three times a week when it’s open seven days a week and once weekly when it’s only open on the weekends.
“If they just use the pool three times a week, they’re saving a ton of money already,” Furlong said.
Councilman Terry Bunnell said he liked the idea of the prorated option, and Lowery agreed.
Bunnell asked about increasing some of the other prices as well.
“I think we should,” Furlong said, “but they wanted to kind of [take] pretty small steps. We’re open to suggestions.”
He added that he didn’t want to increase the daily rates, because for what is being offered, he feels it’s reasonable.
Lowery said many parents essentially use the pool as day care, dropping off their children in the mornings when the pool opens, and coming back for them when the pool closes, and the children get free lunch through the school feeding program.
Furlong said he wants to keep the prices reasonable but still cover their costs – as he was about to lead into some maintenance estimates.
After considerable more discussion, Bunnell said he would increase the single pass to $125, and the committee agreed to approve that and adopt the other proposed changes.
Furlong said the company that built the pool in 1976 came and assessed its condition, and he had been provided with a ballpark estimate of more than $20,000 just to fix the things that absolutely had to be done with some pipes, valves and drain covers and the motor.
“I have mixed feelings on this,” he said. “I know it needs to be done, obviously, if you want to open the pool, but I also feel like it’s Band-Aid, too. And we’ve talked about it, or I’ve talked about it for eight or nine years now.”
“We’ve been doing a lot of Band-Aids for years,” Groce said.
Furlong said additional work is required every few years as well that is coming due.
“We need to do something with that pool, like, 20 years ago,” he said.
He is still awaiting a detailed cost estimate; no decisions were made yet on the approach to the issues and what type of other facility might be desired – e.g. “aquatics facility” versus “water park.”
In other business, Furlong reported the following:
• The new playground equipment and mulching are essentially done at Twyman Park, but as the mulch settles, more layers will needed to be added. He was hoping to have a ribbon-cutting ceremony there “sometime in the near future when we get some good weather.”
The option of a rubberized surface or rubber mulch was also discussed in depth. It is significantly more expensive, Furlong said, but Bunnell felt it would be more economical in the long run.
• Delivery of new playground equipment for Gorin Park is expected the first week of March still, and the department staff will begin removing the old equipment soon to prepare the site.
• Online registration is expected to go live Feb. 24, which is the date soccer registration begins.