Council OKs $25K for pool repair

Published 1:29 am Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Opp City Council voted on Monday night to spend more than $25,000 for repairs at the Hardin Street School in hopes that a new summer program planned this year will boost use of the school.

The cost to fix the motor, pump, valves, filters and chlorinator is estimated at $25,209.90.

That doesn’t cover the cost of repairing leaks that the pool has, Mayor Becky Bracke said.

“In the past they have been just filling the pool back up with water and correcting the leaks with patches,” she said.

“There is a lot to be done to it, but we want to fix it for the summer and see how many people we can get out to use it, especially with the summer program.”

Bracke said to fix the leaks, the council needs to know that the pool is supported and used well.

“We need to know that we are putting money into something that is wanted.”

Last fall, the council learned that after making $60,000 in repairs to cracks in the pool, it cost $4,000 to operate it last summer. But it only took in $400 in admission fees.

Fixing the pool is especially beneficial to District Four, Councilman Lavaughn Hines said.

“This summer we’re implementing a new program that will get kids back into the community and keep them off the streets,” he said.

The Hardin Street Community Center will be where the program is held, from June 4 to August 3. Children from the ages of 5 to 18 will meet Monday through Friday, from 8 to 4 p.m.

The program is still in its developmental stages, Hines said, but they have already planned the majority of it.

“We’ve also paired with the Summer Feeding Program which will provide the children with three free meals every day that they come to the program,” Hines said.

The Summer Feeding Program is a food service program funded by the USDA.

It’s completely free and funded by the Feeding the Gulf Coast food bank.

Hines said he thought of the program initially to help benefit children to keep up with school work and to stay out of trouble.

“I wanted to keep kids off the street and help them be apart of their community.”

Hines said that the summer program won’t be all fun and games, it will also be very educational.

“We’re going to try and get it to coincide with school systems. A lot of kids, during the summer, don’t do a lot of reading or math to keep up with their learning. We want to make it educational too,” he said.

Hines said there are already a couple of volunteers and he expects more.

Hines expects the pool to play a big part of the program.

“The kids will be using it in the summer,” he said.

“It’s good that it’s getting fixed.”