Leaders to examine city pool again
SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. — City leaders are planning to take another look at reopening the city pool at Loyd Park.
In May 2017, some residents were angered when the South Pittsburg City Commission announced the pool would not be opened that summer due to budget cuts.
“That’s all these kids have around here,” one resident shouted at the board at the time. “We need to try to get some money together for these kids.”
The pool remained closed in 2017 and again this year because Mayor Virgil Holder said the town didn’t have the money to maintain it.
The pool is “way out” of the budget, he said in 2017.
At the board’s September meeting, resident Carolyn Millhiser said city leaders should put the pool issue “on the front burner.”
“We’ve got a swimming pool that’s sitting up there growing frogs,” she said. “Now is the time to think about what we’re going to do next summer, not April-May when we don’t have enough time.”
Last April, the board voted 3-2 to apply for a $200,000 Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Local Parks and Recreation Fund grant in an effort to replace the city pool with a splash pad estimated to cost $400,000.
Holder said officials received a letter from TDEC on August 27 confirming the city’s application for the grant had been denied.
“They [TDEC] gave out $13.5 million and had requests for $16 million out of that grant block,” he said. “So, our project because of scoring — we scored 51 out of a required 62 — was not funded.”
Commissioner Jimmy Haley requested the board set up a workshop to discuss “putting the pool back in service.”
“Let’s see what it would cost us and what we need to do to get it back because we might as well use what we’ve got.”
Holder said it would be better to get cost estimates up front and “some recommendations from some folks that know what they’re doing” before the board meets in a workshop about the matter.
Holder said he would direct City Administrator Gene Vess to gather the information the board needed so it could organize a workshop to discuss the issue in the near future.