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Pool Meeting Recap

A GOOD SIZE CROWD WAS IN ATTENDANCE AT THE PUBLIC MEETING HELD LAST NIGHT BY THE NORTON CITY COUNCIL.  THE PUBLIC MEETING WAS A CHANCE FOR THE CITIZENS TO VOICE THEIR OPINIONS ON THE ISSUE OF A NEW POOL, ITS FINANCING AND THE DESIGN OF IT.  KEVIN WITH AQUATIC DESIGN PRESENTED THE INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC LIKE HE HAD TO THE POOL COMMITTEE ON THE CONDITION OF THE NORTON POOL.  THE POOL WAS BUILT IN 1954 AND THE PIPING WAS REDONE IN 1985.  THERE HAVE BEEN NO OTHER MAJOR REPAIRS IN THAT TIME.  HE RATED THE POOL IN CRITICAL CONDITION AND THE BATH HOUSE IN POOR CONDITION.  HE SHOWED PICTURES OF THE CRACKS IN THE WALLS OF THE POOL, THE SLOPE OF THE POOL THAT IS 5 AND A HALF INCHES DIFFERENT FROM ONE SIDE OF THE POOL TO THE OTHER AND ALSO THE OUTDATED FILTERING AND CHEMICAL SYSTEM.  THERE ARE MAJOR WATER LEAKS WITH THE CITY LOSING 2.7 MILLION GALLONS OF WATER EACH YEAR.  THE WATER IS COLD.  THE WALLS HAVE BECOME BRITTLE AND POROUS.  THE UNDERGROUND PIPING NEEDS REPLACED.   THE FILTRATION SYSTEM DOES NOT MEET CURRENT CODES FOR POOLS.  IT IS VERY SLOW.  THE POOL AND BATHHOUSE IS ALSO NOT ADA ACCESSIBLE.  IT WOULD COST MORE TO REPAIR THE EXISTING POOL AND BATH HOUSE THAN TO REPLACE IT.  THE BATH HOUSE ROOF HAD DETERIORATED.  IT IS NOT USER FRIENDLY AND NOT ADA COMPLIANT.  THERE IS A WEBSITE SET UP WITH THIS INFORMATION AT WWW.NORTONPOOL.COM.  THERE IS ALSO A SURVEY ON THAT SITE OF WHAT THE PUBLIC WOULD WANT WITH THIS NEW POOL.  HE SHOWED SOME IDEAS THAT THE POOL COMMITTEE HAS LOOKED AT.  NO FIRM DESIGNS HAVE YET BEEN DONE.  THAT WILL BE DONE AFTER THE SURVEYS ARE COMPLETE AND THEY WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THEM DONE BY MAY 18TH.  RICK ENSZ FROM COOPER, MCCLAIN AND MALONE PRESENTED THE INFORMATION ON THE FINANCING.  MUCH OF HIS PRESENTATION WAS GENERAL SINCE THE DOLLAR ESTIMATE FOR THE NEW POOL IS NOT KNOWN.  THAT FIGURE WON’T BE AVAILABLE UNTIL JUNE.  THERE ANOTHER PUBLIC MEETING WILL BE SCHEDULED.  THE CITY COUNCIL IS IN THE PROCESS OF GETTING A BOND ISSUE PUT ON THE BALLOT FOR THE NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION ON A PROPOSED SALES TAX.  BUT THAT FIGURE WON’T BE KNOWN UNTIL THE DESIGNS ARE DONE.  THERE ARE ONLY THREE WAYS FOR FINANCING A PROJECT LIKE THIS….BONDS, CASH ON HAND AND A PUBLIC BUILDING COMMISSION, WHICH IS WHAT THE CITY OF NORTON IS DOING.  ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR SCOTT SPROUL AND ENSZ BOTH STATED THAT THERE ARE NOT MANY GRANT OPPORTUNITIES FOR A PROJECT LIKE THIS.  SPROUL DID STATE THAT NORTON COUNTY DOES HAVE A LOT OF GROWTH WITH ABOUT 17 MILLION DOLLARS IN PROJECTS THAT HAVE GONE ON OR ARE CURRENTLY ONGOING.  THE ISSUE WILL BE DISCUSSED DURING THE MEETING OF THE NORTON CITY COUNCIL TONIGHT AT WELL.  THAT MEETING WILL BEGIN AT 5:30 IN THE COUNCIL ROOM OF CITY HALL AND ALL MEETINGS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.