Clintonville resident supports reopening pool

He suggests fundraiser to get community involved
By: 

Grace Kirchner Leader Correspondent

Dennis Lichtenberg told the Clintonville Common Council on Tuesday that he believes it is time to do something about the outdoor community swimming pool that has not operated for several years.

The Clintonville resident said he realizes the fire in the bathhouse in 2016 set progress back, but he believes it is possible to move forward. Lichtenberg said he feels residents will support keeping the pool open at a reasonable cost.

“The cost of the renovation of the pump room, the bathhouse, a pool liner if necessary, is the city’s responsibility as, after the pool was built, it was expected the city would maintain it,” Lichtenberg said. “Once the city moves ahead to approve the renovation, then the cost of covering other improvements like a zero entry, a slide, and a splash pad could be started by fundraising and grants if available.”

Lichtenberg said the pool was built when he graduated from high school, so he never got to really use it but his children did whenever he visited his parents.

He said that figures like $5.4 million and $5.7 million estimates for some plans that have been presented just won’t be accepted in Clintonville especially with the population going down and fewer children.

Lichtenberg supports a fundraiser and is willing to make a donation once the city is willing to move ahead with the renovation at a reasonable cost.

No action was taken on the pool issue as it was not an agenda item, but Mayor Richard Beggs told the council that he would put it on next month’s regular meeting for a decision on what to do with the outdoor swimming pool. Beggs stated earlier that he wanted the council to have time to study the available options.

At a council meeting in June, Ryan Nachreiner, project director for Water Technology Inc., explained options WTI had developed for the swimming pool.

One plan would repair and modernize the pool complex. It would rebuild the bathhouse, renovate the lap pool, remove the wading pool and build a splash pad. It would have a zero-depth-entry pool where the current pool is. A splash pad would replace the wading pool with various features that spray water. There would be waterproofing and repairing the pool shell to the extent that it is not a complete rebuild and there would not be a cost to removing the present pool and building a new one.

The cost for this plan would be $5.7 million. The cost could be reduced if some features were eliminated.

If the splash pad was eliminated, the cost figures would be $4.5 million. A second alternate involves improving the lap pool so it is waterproof and usable. That cost is $3.6 million. The lowest plan by WTI was to have only a splash pad, at a cost of $1.4 million.

“As a community with tax revenues, we can’t afford any of the options right now,” Alderman Brad Rokus said at the June meeting. “Once we have an option out there, then we can start knocking on doors and beating on drums and see what kind of money we can raise.”