Lake Worth takes no action on its aging pool

lake-worth-municipal-pool

Lake Worth is still grappling what to do with its aging, 46-year-old pool.

LAKE WORTH — After a lively two  hour discussion on the city’s aging, municipal pool and what should be done with the facility, Lake Worth Commissioners Tuesday night decided to do…nothing.

Initially it appeared as though the city would investigate further options and get three additional recommendations from pool experts on how much it would cost to renovate the 46-year-old facility, but commissioners unanimously opted to table the issue, a decision that led to residents leaving a packed City Hall grumbling, many of whom were carrying colorful flotation noddles in support of the pool.

“We’re putting the cart miles ahead of the horse,” Commissioner Christopher McVoy said, referring to a damning report by an aquatic consultant that recommended the city demolish the structure and spend up to $7.3 million to build a new water park and lazy river in its place. “When (you’re told you need surgery), you go for a second and third opinion. We’re looking at a much more expensive project.”

McVoy said it’s not a good idea to dump a recommendation on residents and telling them it’s the only solution.

Commissioners were formally presented with the report by Bob McCallister, a 30-year aquatics expert.  The report said it would cost the city $4.6 million to repair and upgrade the pool. Basic fixes to the structure and filter system alone would cost $2.8 million.

“The pool is in bad shape,” McCallister said during his 35-minute presentation.

For years, Mayor Pam Triolo said the pool, which City Manger Michael Bornstein recently closed because of safety concerns, has been neglected, mistreated and left to rot when it closed in 2012.

Whatever the city decides to do with the facility it should be done correctly, Triolo said.

“We don’t want this to be a repeat of the roads,” she said. “We don’t want to spend money to spend more money and to never solve the problem.”

Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, the most vocal commissioner on the city not spending more money to fix the pool, softened his stance somewhat.

“No one said they want to see the pool closed or permanently or eliminated,” Maxwell said. “If there is another way to do it with some other configuration…I’m all for that.”

 

Early in the discussion, McVoy made a motion for the city to develop a list of all the work that needs to be done at the facility, then get three experienced pool experts to give Lake Worth estimates on the price tag to fix those issues.

City Manager Michael Bornstein had an issue with that motion.

“You’re creating extra steps,” Bornstein said. “This is not rocket science.”

Check back later for a more detailed report