Athens City Council Hears More Arguments To Rebuild Pool

Posted on:

< < Back to

Built in the early 1970’s, the Athens Community pool has been standing strong with only minor repairs. Recently though, with severe leaks in the pool lining and rusted pipe pieces shooting out from the side jets, Athens City Council is considering construction of a new pool.

At Monday night’s meeting, Council approved on second reading an allocation of $500,000 for engineering services. A third reading before council will finalize the authorization.

Andrew Chiki, assistant director of Athens Community Arts, Parks and Recreation, said the pool will remain closed this summer unless $100,000 in urgent repairs are made.

First-Ward City Councilman Kent Butler, who proposed the construction of a new pool, said he wants to get the project started as soon as possible.  While the pool sometimes operates at a loss, he said it could be a money-maker if changes are made.

“Outdoor pools last year operated at a $2,000 loss and the previous year it operated at a gain of $3,000,” he said.  “Consultants also suggested that if you have a very aggressive concession stand and you are making these type of amenities available to your community, you’re going to have potentially even more money revenue generated from the outdoor pools”

Council members Patrick McGee and Michelle Papai said the council is moving too fast with construction of a new pool. They said they believe the ordinance is too specific in replacing an outdoor pool, but not specific enough when it comes to the budget.

“I wanted to still see some options for maybe a small outdoor and then an indoor complex,” Papai said.  “I’m not confident in the numbers I’ve been seeing.”

The measure will voted on again at the next council meeting.