On Monday, March 21, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. the budget, including the use of this money for North pool will be discussed at the City Council meeting. There is currently no money allocated for North Pool, which will probably result in its permanent closure, resulting in another blow to the quality of life for Elyria's residents.
Elyria's neighborhood pools are a recent victim of the recession, with all but one left closed for the year. Due to lack of operation, two of the four pools, West and South, cannot be reopened without significant repairs of about $250,000. However, the North pool can be reopened and operated this summer for about $50,000. A few short years ago, City Council and the Administration invested $10,000 to install a new heater in North pool. Shortly after that investment, North Pool was closed. This year the North Pool is at a cross roads and, if it is not operated this year, may never be opened again.
Although $150,000 initially remained unallocated in the budget, the Finance Committee agreed with the Mayor that opening the North Pool was a "want" and not a "need," that other priorities existed and, after two discussions, decided to allocate the remaining available funds by providing an additional $38,000 to buy gasoline this year and the remaining $112,000 for additional street repairs. The administration argued that Elyria should only have one pool, although it did not respond to questions about allowing the pools to go to waste in order to support upcoming plans for a central aquatic center, which has been a topic of discussion for several years, including being rejected by a designated 2015 committee.
I believe that our residents support recreational facilities and appreciate their value to the quality of life in our community, which makes Elyria a better place to live and more attractive to new businesses. The opening of North Pool has been actively supported by myself, Jerry McHugh (7th Ward Council), Mary Siwierka (Council At Large) and Garry Gibbs (3rd Ward Council). We see this as a need, not simply a want. However, standing alone, our voices may not be strong enough to get North Pool reopened.
If you would like to see the pool reopened and our investment in that pool preserved, please come to the Council meeting and express your feelings on this subject. Residents who wish to speak are asked to sign in 15 minutes prior to the meeting using forms that you can find just outside the entrance to the Council Chambers. If you have any questions or if you are unable to attend, please feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will be sure to share your comments as part of the discussion on Monday night.