City Council to consider opening Cahoon pool; Mayor Dennis Kintigh puts temporary reopening on April 13 council agenda
Mayor Dennis Kintigh told the Daily Record Wednesday that the City Council will debate and vote next week on a resolution to reopen the Cahoon Park Pool for the summer season. The pool was decommissioned by the City Council last April. (File Photo)
Another chapter to a long saga about the fate of the historic and now closed Cahoon Park Pool in Roswell will be added next week when the City Council will consider a resolution to reopen the pool for the summer.
“The mayor is putting on the agenda for the City Council to consider to recommission Cahoon Pool with a dollar limit on money to be expended,” Mayor Dennis Kintigh said.
Kintigh said that the resolution will be considered at the April 13 meeting and will call for re-opening the pool for one summer only. The resolution also would cap city expenditures at $50,000.
That is the amount a group of Cahoon pool advocates have estimated costs would be to run a “shoe-string” operation for up to 13 weeks, eight hours a day, six days a week. With that funding, pool use would be free, and there would be no programs, parties, events or food concessions.
The City Council voted to close the 78-year-old pool in April 2016, but the decision was protested for months by some residents who appeared at public meetings and wrote newspaper letters and editorials questioning the reasons given for the closure and the wisdom of taking away the city’s only municipal pool, a recreational and swimming instruction resource for many.
City staff and elected officials have said the pool was too costly to operate, unsafe, outdated, not in compliance with state codes and not what younger swimmers wanted to pay fees to use. Opponents to the closure said that the wiser decision was either to invest in repairing or modernizing Cahoon, or to do minimal repairs and upgrades to keep it operating during summers until the planned new recreation and aquatic center opens at Cielo Grande Recreational Area, expected by early fall 2018.
In an April 4 letter in the Daily Record, some members of the Cahoon advocacy group, nicknamed the Cahoon Pool Conservancy, said they had commissioned a recent engineering study that found no large voids underneath the pool and that they had received indications that a state engineer would permit the pool without requiring major repairs.
Kintigh’s decision came within days of that letter.
“I am putting this on the agenda,” Kintigh said. “We are going to have a discussion and debate on this resolution. Now, can this resolution be amended or changed, yes? … This is going to be a rubber-meets-the-road moment.”
Kintigh said that the resolution will propose opening the pool only for summer 2017.
“This would be for one year,” he said. “We will have a new facility (by August 2018). Why do we need two? I don’t have that much money.”
Cahoon pool supporters, although they were not aware of details about the resolution, were pleased that the City Council would be considering reopening the pool.
“It is a good idea and where it should be,” said Gary Hartwick, one of the more vocal and active proponents of reopening Cahoon Pool and member of the advocacy group, in an email to the Daily Record. “Let the City Council decide.”
Sue Ferguson, another member of the pool advocacy group, wrote, “I am very glad that the Council is going to consider opening it, and hope that this time they actually listen to public opinion.”