All Agnes Nolting Aquatics Complex season pass account holders should expect a prorated refund to come in the mail.
Darren Dunkle, parks department director, said at the city council meeting Monday, Aug. 6, that the department is recommending that a prorated refund from the time the main pool closed, Saturday, July 21, to the end of the regularly scheduled closing of the pool, Sunday, Aug. 12, should be given. The council approved the motion 5-0.
Despite the setbacks the pool has experienced in the last three weeks of this year’s season, Dunkle said to expect a pool season next year.
“The pool will be open next year,” Dunkle commented.
The refund will be processed by both the parks department and the finance department before being mailed to season pass account holders.
Dunkle said the department looked into having account holders bring their passes to the pool to claim the refund, but decided it was a moot point since the pool will be closing completely on Sunday.
Dunkle said the refund will cost the department about 28 percent, or $5,234.24, of what it collected, $18,643.00, on season passes for 2018.
“It’s unfortunate, but I think it’s necessary,” Councilman Jeff Patke said.
Dunkle also confirmed at the meeting that the cost of the repair or replacement is not the problem. Instead the problem lies within the timing of the repair or replacement.
“It was determined that it would take over three weeks for the replacement and that put us right at the end of the season,” Dunkle said.
The department is still looking into whether it will be worth the money to repair and rebuild the 30-year-old pump or if they will invest in a new pump. They are working with Westport Pools on pulling the pump and motor, which Dunkle said was pulled Tuesday, Aug. 7, and is currently being evaluated.
Dunkle said it will take a few weeks to make a decision.
The announcement of the refund came after the parks department received several inquiries regarding season passes. Several season pass holders expressed that they only purchased the pass so they could use the main pool and would not be using the leisure pool for the remainder of the season.
The leisure pool will stay open for the rest of the season.
Future of the Pool
During the October meeting last year, the parks board considered closing the pool completely due to leaky pumps and the breakdown of the filters.
Dunkle previously stated that pools have an average lifespan of 20 to 25 years. The complex was built in 1935-36 and underwent major renovations in the 1970s.
After a public outcry, the department has been considering other options for the aging pool.
The parks board recently began exploring plans for a new pool funded through the half-cent capital improvement sales tax.
Dunkle announced at the meeting that the Aquatics Committee will be meeting Thursday, Aug. 9.
The committee recently received two firms’ proposal requests and will be reviewing those at the meeting.