Rethinking the Canal Winchester swimming pool


By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Summer swimming was on the minds of  Canal Winchester City Council members on Feb. 16 along with potential ways of opening the community pool to non-residents and generating more income as well.

The swimming pool, located on Groveport Road, routinely operates in the red, which city officials attribute to the uncertainty of the weather.

“It always has been a money loser,” said Councilwoman Bobbie Mershon. “Only a couple of years when it was extremely hot did it make a little money.”

Public Service Director Matt Peoples presented a report regarding changing the pool’s membership structure, adding a variety of levels and eliminating the school district membership in lieu of a non-resident category.

“We’re looking at offering different things instead of just single and family memberships,” said Peoples.

According to Peoples, Canal Winchester is the only area entity restricting pool membership to city residents and school district residents. He said most pools have resident and non-resident memberships.

By opening up memberships to non-residents, Peoples said it would bring more people—and revenue—into the community pool coffers.

Peoples proposed changes to membership categories to attract a wider range of potential members, such as a Twilight Pass.

“The Twilight Pass would be for everyday after 5 p.m.,” Peoples said, “and it’s a little cheaper. Then there would be a Weekenders Pass just for use on weekends and a Vacationer’s Pass would be just for 10 days. We’re also proposing the same daily rate.”

Peoples also asked council to consider implementing a policy limiting access for youth under age 12 unless they are accompanied by an adult or possibly an older teen. He said a child was injured last year and pool staff was unable to locate their parents. They found out the child was dropped off at the pool and the parents were at work.

“There are liability issues of having unaccompanied children at the pool,” said Finance Director Amanda Jackson. “Individuals working at the pool are not there to babysit.”

Other CW news
•Council approved a $158,600 contract with J.S. Brown & Co. for Phase II work on renovation of the historic interurban station. Council voted in December to waive competitive bidding and continue with the proposal process for interior work on the historical structure.

Over the years, the interior of the station was gutted and the roof was replaced. The exterior received a facelift and a state historical marker was installed in 2010.

Last spring, Destination: Canal Winchester organizers Bruce Jarvis and Bob Garvin applied to South Central Power and were awarded a $5,000 community grant for furniture and artwork for the interurban station. The cost for 10 handcrafted tables and 30 chairs was $7,500 with artwork pushing the total to approximately $10,000.

Community benefactors Dick Weiser and Bob Ward each pledged $2,500 to cover the remaining costs. Peoples said the furniture should arrive in town from an Amish country workshop in April.

•Council approved a $480,276 contract with Layne Inliner, LLC for rehabilitation of a Westchester sanitary sewer line. The city’s estimate was approximately $700,000. Construction Services Administrator Bill Sims said the favorable pricing allows the city to add manhole covers back into the project.

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