Pool finally a go

Published 12:21 am Wednesday, August 19, 2015


After nearly four years of discussions and two different administrations, the Opp City Council on Monday voted to allocate $400,000 to proceed with a new city pool.

The pool has a $174,935 price tag, but additional add-on features bring the total closer to $200,000.

The additional $200,000 is for a clubhouse and fencing.

The pool will have six lanes and will allow the city of Opp to offer competitive swimming to its youth. It will also be a salt water pool.

“We have $100,000 in an account,” Mayor John Bartholomew said of a donation. “This will keep our youth from having to go to Andalusia for competitive swimming.”

Councilwoman Mary Brundidge wanted to know how much it would cost the city.

The mayor said the city would be soliciting funds from a variety of places and the school system would also help by applying for grants.

“The worst case scenario, the city will pay for all,” Bartholomew said.

Brundidge wasn’t too sure.

“I want a pool,” she said. “But once we say $200,000, there will be some add-ons as well.”

Councilman Bobby Ray Owens said the city hopes to get the pool at least 80 percent funded from outside contributions that the city won’t have to ante up the funds.

As planned, the city will shell out the money to get the project going, so that it will hopefully be completed sooner than later.

“With any donations or endowments we get, we can put the money back into the city’s accounts,” Bartholomew said.

In 2014, the city of Opp announced that the projected cost of the veteran’s pool project was $1.25 million.

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

Bartholomew said Tuesday that the bids for the initial $1.25 million were over estimated.

“We went back and reviewed it,” he said. “Original costs for the pool were around $200,000, and more people wanted a meet pool, but also a pool for everyone.”

Bartholomew said the clubhouse will have bathrooms and showers and a sitting area, along with a concession stand.

“This will complete our city in sports,” he said. “Our citizens are actually getting more. We took some things out that weren’t necessary.”

Additionally, the city has solicited AMVETS to help them by bringing in aircraft, tanks and more to represent each of the branches of military service.

“It will continue to be the veterans pool,” Bartholomew said.

Bartholomew said since the pool costs more than $50,000, they will let bids on the project and expect construction to begin around 30 days after they choose a company.