Pharos-Tribune

June 14, 2013

Tower Pool showing its age

More funding or alternatives required, officials say.

BY MITCHELL KIRK PHAROS-TRIBUNE
Pharos-Tribune

---- — Logansport city officials are contemplating what to do about Tower Park Pool, an almost 60-year-old facility that’s beginning to show its age with leaking lines and broken pumps.

One of the pool’s pumps has broken down recently, said Logansport Parks Administrator Jan Fawley, and replacing it cost about $5,800. The expenditure will force the purchase of a handicap lift, originally planned for this year, onto next year’s budget.

Another pump at the pool has run into problems as well, Fawley said, as the water slide sits high and dry until repairs are made on its pump for around $1,200 to $1,400. Fawley said the slide should be back up and running by Tuesday.

On top of this, the pool, which was built in 1955, also suffers from significant water loss in its return lines and gutters that Fawley said are beyond repair. About $15,000 in utilities is required to maintain the pool for its two-month season, she added.

“We can’t continue to operate the pool without putting some funding into it,” said Terry Doran, president of the Logansport Parks and Recreation Board.

The last time the pool received significant funding was in 2001, when about $72,000 was put toward a new liner, Fawley said. In 1993, about $210,000 went into a new deck and gutters, she added.

“I don’t know if there’s any way to fix the pool anywhere that’s cost-effective,” said Marty Monahan, a parks board member. “It’s almost like an empty hole in the ground we’re throwing money in.”

Parks board members and members of the Logansport City Council’s Parks Committee discussed the matter in a meeting Wednesday.

“You’ll either have to build a new pool facility... or just give it all up,” Logansport City Councilwoman Teresa Popejoy told parks board members.

One suggestion raised at the meeting was not just one new pool facility, which would come with a price tag in the millions of dollars, but several smaller and less expensive splash pads in parks throughout the city.

Costing around $75,000 to $100,000, splash pads come with a ground nozzle and/or standing nozzles that shower water onto a deck area.

As there is no standing water, it eliminates the need for lifeguards, leading to further savings, Fawley said.

Parks board and committee members seemed open to the idea, requesting more research be done and time allowed to receive input from the public.

If the plan receives financial backing and positive feedback, the officials discussed the possibility of implementing the splash pads on a tiered schedule, implementing one at first to gauge reactions. If they’re accepted, parks officials would add more to other parks until getting to a point when the pool could be closed down.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com.