After providing cooling relief from the hot, summer sun for about 50 years, all indications point to this Saturday marking the end of an era for the city of St. Clair and its community swimming pool.
The pool opened in the early 1960s as the result of a bond issue passed by voters. Since then, despite some problems, especially during recent years, the pool has been a place for young and old alike to take a break from the heat and humidity in the months of June, July and August.
At times, it was quite common to see the pool filled to capacity with patrons and guests who opted to spend the day at the popular spot. Still today, there are times when dozens of individuals show up to spend a lazy day in the water soaking up the sun.
But because of age and ongoing maintenance issues that led to costs well beyond what’s budgeted, city officials decided to shut down the pool after this summer.
The plan is to demolish the pool sometime this fall and replace it with some kind of spray park by next year. The spray park at a minimum should feature several sprinkler-like in-ground fountains that will provide a new and enjoyable way to cool off. It could end up being a little fancier than that depending on how much money will be needed.
The city is trying to develop a budget now so it knows how to proceed in the future.
Spray parks seem to be the “in thing” for communities these days, and the St. Clair administration wants to jump on that bandwagon as a way to provide some summer fun to its citizens.
We think it’s a wonderful idea.
A spray park will bridge the gap from now until when the city can afford to build a new pool. Hopefully, when the much-wanted and much-needed retail development comes to town, revenue can start to be put aside for luxuries such as this.
We will just have to sit back and see how all this develops, but we charge the city’s park board, aldermen and other officials to find a way to make a spray park happen.
But before that occurs, we want to say goodbye to the grand, old gal who has provided St. Clairians with a place to go and with something to do during the summer.
This gal may be old and showing her age through cracks, leaks and other maintenance issues, but she has been a wonderful asset to this community for a long, long time, and we are sorry to see her go.