Repairs to the Whitesburg city swimming pool are moving forward, Mayor Tiffany Craft told the Whitesburg City Council at its October meeting.
Curing the meeting held via Zoom, Craft told the council that repairs on track to “save” the pool from falling into disrepair. Craft told the council in September that critical repairs needed to be made to the pool and that money earmarked for the city’s proposed “splash pad” project had been used for some pool repair work.
Craft said Whitesburg City Engineer Paul Nesbitt reported to her that plans for the necessary repairs to the pool have been drawn up and “look good” with no problems in making “any correction that we need to the swimming pool to save it.”
“The swimming pool means a lot to a lot of people, and I believe the updates will help us gain some revenue to it,” Craft said. “I know a lot of money has … gone into this swimming pool, but I really think that the updates, we all know that they are needed. I think it will be great for everything down there.”
During a special meeting in September, city employee and carpenter Allen Ross told the council that the gunite — a blend of cement, sand and water which makes up the walls and bottom of the pool — was “coming loose” in the pool and that tiling installed around the pool had begun falling off. Craft said the tile that was falling off was new and should not yet have been installed.
During that special September meeting, the council authorized the purchase of more than $14,000 in concrete and related materials to make emergency repairs. Craft told the council during that meeting that if the repairs weren’t made immediately, the damage to the pool could worsen in the winter months and leave the pool irreparable.
Craft said that as of the October council meeting, the plans for the “reconstruction of the pool are a ‘go.’”
“ We certainly don’t want to lose everything down there,” she said. “The splash pad is a great thing and unfortunately, sight was just lost on that, and it ended up as a pool rehab, but we have made those corrections and we’re back on track with that as best as we can be at this point.”
In other business at the October meeting, Craft said the city’s new gift shop is now open. She said the shop will provide a “central location” for visitors to purchase memorabilia featuring the Whitesburg city seal. Craft said the revenue generated from the items in the gift shop would help fund the city’s activities promoting tourism.
“We’re hoping to keep generating enough money, that way we can do bigger events, say for the Fourth of July, bigger bands, more entertainment, things like that, just to see what we could do,” Craft said.
Among the items available in the gift shop are shirts, pillows, rugs, drinking jars and magnets.
The council also declared 12 city vehicles as surplus and authorized Craft to move forward with selling the vehicles at auction. Craft said the vehicles are not currently in service and would cost more to repair than what they are worth.
The council also asked Craft to provide an update at the November council meeting on the city’s proposed annexation of the Solomon area.
Council member Derek Barto said he has been seeking an update on the annexation plan from City Attorney James Asher for some time but has not yet received one. Council member Mike Jackson echoed Barto’s request. No formal action was taken on the request, but Craft agreed to update the council on the issue.