Webb City officials dig up new plan for public pool - KOAM TV 7

Webb City officials dig up new plan for public pool

There's been talk for some time about a new public pool in Webb City, Missouri.  Some residents may have thought that talk would have stopped after a recent election seemed to put that issue at rest.  But city officials are digging up a new way to get that pool.

Some city officials are diving right into the idea of a new public swimming pool.

"I think that community support is overwhelming," says City Manager Carl Francis.

...support from residents like Shane Abell, who thinks a new pool would be popular.

"Especially locally, not even a half mile up the road," says Abell.

In April, Webb City voters turned down a proposal for more property taxes to fund a new aquatic center.

"You have to have a 57 percent majority to raise a property tax for a facility like an aquatic facility," says Francis.

The vote was close.

"We only raised 56 percent," says Francis/

A one percent difference; enough to keep the issue afloat, albeit at a different location.  City officials say an old pool on College Street was, until a few days ago, covered with concrete.  It's been used as a basketball court, and other things, since the 1970's.  But the concrete started shifting and needed repair.  Or in this case, it needed to be removed all together.

Then, eureka.

"Now, we're thinking that there is a possibility that that swimming pool could be brought back up to public use," says Francis.

This latest proposal is pending City Council's approval.  Webb City's city manager expects renovations to the old pool area to cost about $200,000.

"The old pool did not have a pump system.  It basically was drained and refilled once a week.  It may not have all the bells and whistles, as originally planned, with the original aquatic plan.  But we can get the bells and whistles later," says Francis.

"I think it would probably generate a little more revenue versus the empty basketball court up there," says Abell.

But in reality, the City could lose money on the new pool.

"I don't think there's any service that the City provides that is intended to make money," says Francis.

Francis says the City has enough money to cover the possible added expense.

Right now, residents can swim in the school pool, but officials say it's in high demand.  If the pool project is approved by City Council, City funds would be used for the renovation and operational costs of the new pool.

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