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Monday, May 2, 2016

Thayer pool to remain dry in 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

After losing money for years maintaining the city swimming pool, Thayer aldermen unanimously agreed Feb. 14 to not open the facility this summer.

Instead, the pool will remain closed until May 2013. While closed, parks department workers will repair the pool where needed.

City leaders also are considering replacing the chlorine system with a salt-purification system. The city spends about $7,500 each year for chlorine. Last year, aldermen discussed seeking grants to help with costs to replace the system, although none have yet been awarded.

While the pool was open in 2011 from May 28-Aug. 11, the city lost about $15,000, mostly due to decreased attendance. Admission fees and concession sales generated about $6,000 last year.

In August, Thayer Community Betterment Association hosted a pool party to attract interest in the pool, raising more than $500 in admission fees and barbecue dinner sales.

Also last summer, the city board asked the betterment association to consider taking over operation of the pool for the 2012 season by leasing the facility from the city for $1.

Thayer Community Betterment declined the offer, citing it as not cost-effective.

Leaks and other repair issues been a problem at the 35-year-old pool. Last year, Mayor Earl "Buddy" Rogers said the city once lost 45,000 gallons of water overnight.

Surveys of area school-age children revealed that many did not visit the pool because it does not have a slide, shade, a modern bathhouse or enough pool furniture.

Groups have discussed raising money for such improvements, although no real progress was made.

A community survey published by the city in the South Missourian News was returned to City Hall by one resident. No other surveys were returned.

Alderman Robert "Bob" Grimes said at the Feb. 14 meeting that the city wishes to still provide a community service by having a pool. Money saved by not opening the pool this year can be used to make repairs and update the facility for 2013.

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