Published On: Thu, Aug 3rd, 2017

Committee to research pool options

OSMOND — The condition of Osmond Municipal Pool and options available for its future were discussed at a town hall meeting on Thursday, July 27. Approximately 50 individuals were present at the meeting, which was held at the city auditorium.
After greeting the crowd, Mayor James Bessmer noted that, although all city council members were present, the meeting was being held as a town hall meeting to get input from the community. He then turned the meeting over to Pool Commissioner Missy Hoppe.
Hoppe enumerated the problems the city is having with the current pool, the worst being that it has been leaking water, which is costing a lot of money, not just in the water bill, but also in heating and chemicals. She presented three options that are available to solve the problem:
1) Put in a splash pad, which will be run on timers so would not need hired help
2) Put a glass/resin lining on the existing pool, which gives the pool a new look; also work on the heater
3) Build a new pool
Bessmer, Hoppe and Maintenance Supervisor Tom Kruse answered many questions about each of the options. As far as the costs involved with building a new pool, Bessmer said they won’t know exactly until they know what the city wants for specifications.
Hoppe informed the crowd that any new pools that are built have to be zero-entry pools. As far as how it would be financed, Mayor Bessmer said the city would have to do bonding, but added that fund-raising by the community would be a good idea as well. Also discussed were options for grants.
The current pool tank is about 65 years old, according to Bessmer, but everything else has been redone or added since that time — the bath house, piping, filtration system, baby pool, lighting, concrete decking and pool heater were upgraded in 2002. Asked if there were any water lines or other repairs on the radar, Bessmer said no, “we should be on the downhill slide on that.”
One comment that was made was that, instead of buying a liner and having to redo it again, the community should just spend the money and do it (build a new pool), or don’t do it at all.
Chris Adamson agreed. “There was this same discussion 15 years ago,” she said. “If we had decided to spend the money then, we wouldn’t be here now.”
One resident commented that, when someone is looking at a community and deciding whether to move there, they look at a number of things: the housing, the schools, the parks and recreational opportunities available for their kids.
Robbie Gansebom commented, “We need to invest in our community, including the parks, the pool.”
Amy Bolz added, “I hope people who are against it (building a new pool) aren’t just against it because their kids are grown, because they will have grandkids down the road.”
Adam Rice asked if a vote could be taken to see what the interest would be. In a show of hands, at least three-fourths of the group voted in favor of building a new pool.
Mayor Bessmer asked for seven volunteers to be on a committee to conduct a feasibility study and do some research on the various options available. Those who agreed to be on the committee include Rice, Tyler Gansebom, Jason Bolz, Bridgett Kumm, Dan Heiman, Leah Orr and Erin Schultze.
In answer to a question about whether this would have to go to a vote of the community, Bessmer said yes, and that he would like to have a special election by the first of the year and get going on this. The committee will need to look at other pools and come back with ideas.
After more discussion on quotes, time involved and what people will do as far as a swimming pool if and when a new pool is being built, Mayor Bessmer said “Let’s give this committee time — 30 days — to get their feet wet.” He then concluded the meeting by saying, “This was a nice turnout. It makes me think we’re moving in the right direction.”