PIQUA — Piqua residents are invited to attend the Piqua City Commission’s upcoming work session on Thursday to discuss the future of the Piqua Municipal Pool, which is in need of $3 million-worth of improvements.
The work session to be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, in commission chambers on the second floor of the municipal building, located at 201 W. Water St., Piqua.
Mayor Kris Lee said the discussion about the pool will include what kind of facility the residents would like to see and the types of financing the city can pursue for it, such as a levy, a resident-led committee to conduct fundraising and seek donations for it, or a combination of those two options.
“Getting a new pool here or redoing the pool, whatever we decide to do, is a 10-step process,” Lee said during last week’s Piqua City Commission meeting. “First thing that has to be done is to determine what facility is desired to be constructed.”
Then the city will issue a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a pool architect, and then there will be selection process for the pool architect. The pool architect will then develop concept plans and a detailed cost analysis.
“Then we determine the exact financing, and we can come up with ideas about fundraising versus levy versus a combination of the two,” Lee said. From there, the city issues an RFQ for the design engineering of the plan, which will include the detailed specifications of the plan. The construction of the project would then be bid out.
“Then you award the bid to someone, and then there’s construction,” Lee said. “It’s not like we’re going to talk about this on Thursday and then it’s going to happen five months later. It’s a process, but we want everybody involved in the process. It is a community pool. We want the community made aware. We want the community’s involvement.”
The pool’s 2020 fund estimates include $49,000 in revenue; $223,051 in funds transferred from the general fund; and $272,051 in expenses. The expenses include $86,461 in labor and benefits, as well as $185,590 in operations and maintenance. This budget is just the cost needed to open the pool, but the pool needs over $3 million-worth of improvements.
The largest cost of those needed improvements, which are not included in its 2020 budget, would be replacing the main pool, which would cost approximately $2.5 million. Other improvements would include repairing or replacing the concrete deck, upgrading the filtration system, installing new dive boards, replacing the roof, and repairing and repainting the steel slide structure.
Attendance at the Piqua pool has also gone down by about half between 2008 and 2019, with Park Board member Eddie Harvey reporting at a previous Piqua City Commission meeting the pool’s attendance has decreased from approximately 19,273 attendees in 2008 to approximately 8,829 attendees in 2019. Last year in particular was hit hard due to challenges with the lifeguard shortage and the weather, such as with rain and lower temperatures. The temperature must also be at least 70 degrees for the pool to open.
The pool is located in Pitsenbarger Sports Complex, which is located at South Street and McKinley Avenue. The pool includes a 150-foot waterslide, a baby pool, concession stands, swimming lessons, and family nights, according to the city’s website.
For more information on the city swimming pool, visit www.piquaoh.org or contact the Piqua Public Works Department at (937) 778-2085.