Pool would be drain on city, school system

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 19, 2005

Summer may a little hotter for some in Ironton this summer. The city was unable to keep the Mitch Morgan Municipal Pool afloat so the city council deep-sixed the whole idea and deeded the property back to the Ironton School system.

Trouble is the schools cannot afford to run a leaky pool either.

The pool lost more than 3.5 million gallons of water last year and even closed several weeks early. Chemical and water loss added up to more than $1,000 a week in expenses.

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City leaders probably made the right move to get out of the pool business that was costing the city more than 60,000 gallons of water a day and who knows how much money. But they may not have handled the problem the right way by tossing the hot potato to the schools.

And no one should blame the school system if it does not reopen the aging facility and instead uses the space some other way.

Ironton City Schools Superintendent Dean Nance said the school district had not anticipated getting the pool back in its name and is unsure what the district can do with it.

Ironton's youth probably need a public pool, but the city is just not in position to maintain it.

Neither is the school system that has its work cut out to address its many aging facilities.

The city and school system should work together to have an expert look at the pool and see if it is worth repairing. If so, maybe the city can take it back and find someone willing to make the investment and let it become privately operated.

If the pool isn't worth saving, then the burden shifts to the community. Does the city really need a pool? Sta-Tan is an option as well. Could a privately-funded pool be a viable business? Are people willing to spend some extra money to do so?

Residents should not sit back and place the burden, and the blame, on the city or the school system.

If people want to see the city with a pool let your elected leaders know - but also prove you are willing to pay for it.

Draining the pool may not be pleasant but sinking the city would be worse.