Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Opp pool project has been put on hold, the mayor said Friday.

Citing financial obligations at the airport, Mayor John Bartholomew said the city will hold off on the new pool.

The cities of Opp and Andalusia, along with the Covington County Commssion, are responsible for paying the debt service on a bond at the airport. The note previously was paid with proceeds from a lease. However, the lease was not renewed. As a result, the city of Opp is responsible for $9,000 a month, or $108,000 a year.

“We just finished up with filling the pool in and doing the drainage and sewer lines (for the pool),” Bartholomew said. “But right now it’s going to have to go on the back burner.”

When asked if the project would proceed if a new tenant went into the airport hangar, Bartholomew said he “wished he could say.”

In August, Bartholomew said the project completion was slated for the summer.

Last year, the city of Opp announced that the projected cost of the veteran’s pool project was $1.25 million.

The project is expected to include a state-of-the-art facility, which will feature a splash area for children; a waterfall monument with etchings of the nation’s conflicts; and a pavilion, which will be equipped with a small kitchenette, available for party rental, as well as restroom facilities.

A $100,000 contribution was made by the Estep Foundation to fund the project, and additional money is supposed to be raised through community donations.

Initially, the city estimated the project would cost $250,000.