COPPERAS COVE — A city pool will remain closed possibly until late July despite orders from the City Council to keep it open.
“The pool won’t be able to open June 10,” said City Manager Andrea Gardner. The city pool is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Gardner said she will not break the city’s charter regulations regarding budgeting and finance policies and a state law to keep Turkey Creek Pool at the Hills of Cove Golf Course open.
“You are looking at the end of July,” Gardner said, because it will need a budget amendment, which will require two public hearings.
The council did not provide the city with any direction on how to keep the pool open. With the exception of Councilman Mark Peterson, the council on Tuesday disapproved a request from Parks and Recreation to either close the facility as a public pool and rent it as a private facility, conduct renovations to make it ADA compliant or close the pool entirely.
Before making its decision, the council was quick to question the city’s cost estimates to make the facility compliant, about $10,000 to $12,000, but didn’t discuss what action to take.
According to city information, changes to the pool include either constructing a wheelchair ramp to enter the swimming area through the clubhouse or installing a gate and changing the grade of the parking lot to enter the area outside. It also included purchasing a lift to lower people into the water and fixing the restrooms.
Councilman Kenn Smith said some of the funds should come from the golf course budget and not the aquatics budget, noting the bathrooms to the pool were in the golf course clubhouse.
Parks and Recreation official Mark Willingham said the bathrooms outside at the pool are the facilities that need to be handicap accessible to meet the state’s ADA requirements.
Before the meeting, Willingham said the improvements were budgeted for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, but according to state law, the city had until Jan. 1 to make the pool compliant or have a plan with its purchasing completed to open the facility to the public.
Councilman Gary Kent questioned how making the pool private looked for the city.
“From the outside, you are making the golf course pool exclusive,” he said.
Willingham didn’t respond during the meeting to Kent’s statement.
Before the meeting, Willingham said the city’s intent would be to rent the pool to individuals and day cares for parties or swimming field trips.
During the summer, the 25-person capacity pool averages 60 users per week, most of whom are day care students, Willingham said.