Paxton pool won't open until mid-June

By ROSS BROWN
bluehavanaross@gmail.com


PAXTON — Paxton’s public swimming pool won’t open until 10 days after it was originally scheduled due to delays in repair work.

The Paxton Park District’s recreation director, Neal McKenry, told park board members Monday night that the company installing the pool’s new liner — Indianapolis-based Renosys Corp. — isn’t scheduling any work before June 1. That means the pool will not be open on Memorial Day weekend as had been hoped, McKenry said.

“The liner company isn’t scheduling anything until early June,” McKenry said. “(The company) said it could be a 12-day process, on average, adding one day on our part to fill it in and another to treat the water.”

McKenry said that individual swim lessons and toddler classes would be delayed until after the pool is open.

After debating whether to sell pool passes immediately or to wait a few weeks, board members agreed to begin selling passes as soon as possible and keep prices the same.

“We should start selling passes with the intent of opening in the first two weeks of June, and after that, look at concession stand vouchers or free nights to refund part of the money,” McKenry told the board.

During discussion, the board toyed with the idea of refunding part of the pool pass price. Park district attorney Ross Sorensen said that would not make financial sense.

“If that’s what makes the difference (in cost), this pool is going to fail,” Sorensen said.

Board President Steve Sample also said that refunds wouldn’t be reasonable.

“On a given year, there wouldn’t be a definitive number of days the pool would be open depending on the weather,” Sample said. “If we refund one person’s pass, then we might end up having to refund every pool pass.”

McKenry told board members that swim team signups would take place next week, though its practices and meets would also be delayed until the pool’s opening.

“Rantoul offered to have our swim team go there so we could start on time, but we had to get out of there by 8:30, and Alex (Goudy, the swim team coach) wasn’t interested in that,” McKenry said. “I looked into pricing for busing, but Alex wasn’t interested in that, either.”

McKenry said swim team meets would also be affected by the pool’s opening date.

“Right now, it looks like there’s one home and one away meet, so we’ll have to reschedule those,” he said.

Swim team conference representative Denver “D.C.” Piatt said that canceled meets could still be made up.

“The league hasn’t scheduled any Wednesday night meets the past two years, so the season lasts a bit longer,” Piatt said. “They’ve also put in a makeup weekend before the conference meet.”

Other business
Also at the meeting:

➜ The board voted to hire the Champaign-based Farnsworth Group for an amount not to exceed $19,490 to engineer the district’s new parking lot by the Civic Center at Coady Park. The vote authorizes Sample and Sorensen to execute an agreement with the firm.

➜ Board members approved budget and appropriations ordinances for the 2017 fiscal year, and agreed to add Sample’s signature to all district bank accounts except for petty cash.

➜ McKenry told board members that he was made aware of a boy defacing tables at Westlawn Park and using foul language. Sorensen said a formal letter should be sent to the boy’s parents regarding a possible part-time ban from park district facilities. Board member Brad Ecker said Paxton police should investigate the incident as a vandalism case. Sample said he would follow through with a formal procedure.

➜ McKenry said a pitching machine would not be purchased based on coaching opinions. McKenry said the machines do not accommodate height differences and that the district’s coaches aren’t recommending them.

➜ The district’s daddy-daughter dance brought in $1,500 revenue, leaving a profit based on $380 costs, the board learned. Board member Bobby Kinnard said the board should look into hosting a barn dance-type event at Pells Park.

➜ McKenry said a new sump pump has been installed at the pool and is in working order. $6,600 worth of chemicals have been purchased for the pool, he said, and are being stored until the pool is ready to open.

➜ The board approved Sample’s nomination of Piatt to serve as a board member to fill a recently vacated seat, and Piatt was sworn-in.

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