Should city have reacted sooner?

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 9, 2004

Tribune editorial staff

How about a Sunday morning riddle? What's cool in the summer, too cool in the winter, can be both fun and dangerous at the same time and drinks 60,000 gallons of water a day?

Give up?

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Why it's the Ironton municipal pool, of course.

While we're making a joke, the situation at the city pool is hardly a laughing matter.

After realizing this year that the previous contractor had been operating for sometime without liability insurance, the pool's future this year looked in jeopardy.

Despite the late start, the city leaders seemed to find a solution in the form of a new contractor and some rushed preparation.

In hindsight, however, perhaps the city should have taken more care in reopening the pool.

Apparently, the leaks that were discussed prior to opening turned out to be much more severe than originally thought and was costing the city more than $1,000 per week in lost water.

The city's management should assess the pool's condition and make a determination if making repairs would be cost-effective.

At some point, the city leaders need to begin operating the city a little more like a business than a summer camp. Opening the pool with no signed contract from the operator was problem No. 1. Problem No. 2 was opening it without having a good handle on the operating condition of the pool.

When asked where the approximately 60,000 gallons of water leaking from the pool was going each day, the city's collective answer seemed little more than a shoulder shrug. That's not good enough.

It makes us wonder, could their be a drainage line from the city's pool north through town and straight into the latest big sink hole developing on Railroad Street?

It might seem far-fetched, but given the shoulder-shrug response to date, perhaps it isn't so far-fetched

Regardless of the cause, we wish city leaders would have either recognized the massive problem sooner or simply not allowed the pool to open in the first place.