The Union Recorder

May 23, 2012

Why can’t the commission figure out pool cost?

The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — At the May 15 county commission meeting, the topic of the Baldwin County Swimming Pool again was on the agenda.

After much conversation, the Commission voted NOT to open the county pool in 2012 but to fund $2,000,000 and build a new pool and facility to be open by June 1, 2013. Remember the date — June 1, 2013.

Here it is May 18, five months into 2012, and neither county employees nor the commissioners can tell anyone how much it would cost to open our existing pool. They can say it is 30 years old. They can say it doesn’t have a shallow end. They can say the water is green and has bacteria in it. They can say it is not ADA accessible. They can make a lot of excuses, but they cannot say what it would cost.

Facts are:

1) I met with people in Atlanta who committed to me a way for us not to have to add handicap lifts in 2012.

2) All pools that had standing water over the winter have water that is green and has to be either shocked with chemicals or drained and fresh water added.

3) If for 30 years we got by without having a shallow end, why say we have to have one now?

4) If the pump is bad, then what is the cost to repair or buy a new pump?

Back in the ’60s I ran the Baldwin County Pool for three summers. Every year in March or April, the pool was drained, the sides washed down and scrubbed with brushes and fresh water added. One mid-summer, there was serious rain that caused mud to flow into the pool. We closed the pool, drained it, washed down the sides with fire hoses, rebuilt the pump, getting the mud out, and re-opened the pool in less than a month, with minimum costs to the county.

But again, here we are in late May and do not know what it would cost and even with raising funds from concerned citizens and our youth, the county commission decided to not have a pool in 2012. Therefore I am suspending the “open the pool” campaign fund and returning the $4,200 already collected.

Young people of Baldwin County, please take precautions and be safe when you have to swim in the creeks, ponds and lake in this summer of 2012.

Hopefully in the very near future the county commission will follow the city council and state Legislature that have their meetings broadcast live on the Internet. The voters of Baldwin County need to see their elected officials at work.

E. Culver “Rusty” Kidd