City pool to remain closed

Published 3:00 am Saturday, April 21, 2012

With Spring Break just days away, those looking for a little fun in the water will have to find an alternative to swimming in a city-run pool in Brewton.
The pool located at Dogwood Hills — and owned by the city — won’t be opening this year due to expenses connected with repairs and maintenance at the facility, officials said.
Mayor Ted Jennings said the pool can’t be opened in its present condition, leaving those looking for a way to cool down with using the city’s splash pad as the alternative.
“The pool can’t be used without some major repair work,” Jennings said. “It would cost about $100,000 to get it ready to open. We’re not saying it won’t open at some future date, but it won’t be this year.”
Gary Hill, director of recreation for the City of Brewton, said the decision to close the pool has not been an easy one.
“The pool is 52 years old and if it were to be used this year, there would have to be several upgrades in the pool itself,” Hill said. “It is very expensive to operate and it has been losing money for years. Admission charges haven’t changed in the past 15 years. With the upgrades that would have to be made, the city council made the decision to just not open the pool this summer.”
Hill said with the warmer weather, the splash pad at Dogwood Hills has already opened and people have been enjoying the use of the pad, playground and gazebos.
“We do intend to have the summer movie program again this year,” Hill said. “We are trying to make arrangements to maybe use the community center behind City Hall to show them. We believe that more people will come if it is inside away from the heat and the bugs.”
This plan would also take care of the problem of bad weather, Hill said. Last year, rainy weather prompted a change in days and times on several occasions. With moves presented inside, that problem would be eliminated. Hill also said that the mayor and city council are trying to come up with a plan for other forms of entertainment for the summer.
“There has been some talk about maybe having putt-putt golf installed, but it’s all in the planning stage right now,” Hill said.
Jennings said that there has been some discussion about other forms of entertainment for residents — not right away, but at some future date.
“There might be an expansion of the splash pad in the future and putt-putt golf has been discussed,” Jennings said. “Our purpose right now is to have the information on some of these projects ready for the next administration.”