Even though the aging city swimming pool is increasingly costly to operate, city officials say they are preparing for the 2013 season.

The city will contract with Westside Pools to sandblast and repaint sides and stripes in the pool.

Aldermen approved the $7,390 expenditure at their April 2 board meeting.

The hope is to keep the pool in operation until the city can afford to replace it, said Stephen Flannery III, park board president.

Flannery endorsed the idea of letting the repair contract without going out to bid because the company is an expert in pool maintenance.

The park board would prefer to have an expert do maintenance work, rather than the lowest bidder.

“When we installed the new playground equipment, we put in the bid that an expert would assist with the installation,” Flannery said. “We want it done right.”

Flannery cited the tennis court repairs that had to be reworked as an example of a less than expert job.

“Our pool is getting into sad shape. It’s getting to the end of its life,” he said. “We want to keep the pool going as long as we can, until we can replace it.”

City Administrator Harold Selby said the work had to be completed before the Wildwood YMCA, which manages the pool, would provide costs for the 2013 season.

But there is a possibility that the city may look for another contractor or opt to manage the pool with city staff.

Selby said he has some cost figures for Midwest Pools to manage the pool this summer and he is putting together cost figures for the city to take over management of the pool.

“We may find we can save money and do it ourselves,” he said.

The repair work is being scheduled to make sure the pool is ready for opening day on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27.

Selby said he would bring cost of operation figures to aldermen at the next meeting.