Opp may close Hardin pool

Published 3:52 am Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Residents of Opp have one more summer to prove that the Hardin Street pool is being used enough or it will likely be closed.

Opp Mayor Becky Bracke said at Monday night’s council meeting that she would like to close the pool on Hardin Street and build a splash pad, with a playground.

The pool is in Opp’s minority district, and is in disrepair, needing a new motor, tank and filters for its pump.

City Planner Jason Bryan said the man who normally repairs the pump said there’s nothing more he can do to fix the current one.

The city also spent some $60,000 repairing cracks last year.

Bracke said it cost the city $4,000 to run the pool this summer, not including energy used, and it only brought in $400.

The city elected to charge $1 per day to use one of the two city pools.

However, a majority of Opp’s district 4 residents said they could not afford the daily rate.

Bracke said that she had someone who would put the splash pad in for $90,000.

Her plan was to place the splash pad and nice playground equipment there.

Councilman LaVaughn Hines, who represents district 4, said he did not think a splash pad was equivalent to the pool.

Bryan said that that there was no “redoing” the pool, the city would simply have to start over and build a new one, which he estimated could cost around $200,000.

“The pool is built into a mound of dirt,” he said. “And the east and south sides leak.”

Hines said that the downgrade in the number of participants was due to the $1 fee, and that it used to be utilized more before the fee.

Hines said he would like to have the pool fixed and others in his district had expressed that as well.

“You are taking away,” he said. “I don’t want to be the one to do that.”

The city spent more than $400,000 to build the new pool across town.

Hines said the entire complex on Hardin Street needs a facelift.

Councilman Skipper Spurlin, who represents district 5, said that he agreed that closing the pool in exchange for a splash pad was taking away.

A problem is that, the city may have no way of recouping money since the residents don’t necessarily have the means to pay the $1 per day.

Hines said that he did not think that a $1 per day was paying for anything.

Councilman Gary Strickland, who represents district 3, suggested that the city waive the $1 fee for next summer and see how many people utilize the pool.

The council went ahead and purchased the playground equipment for Hardin Street and Cameron Road.

The cost to the city for both playgrounds will be $37,592.83.

The city received a discount of $20,377.96 off the original price of $55,758.56 for purchasing two sets.