If you were thinking of taking a relaxing dip in the Recreation Department pool to cool off from the sweltering temperatures we have had lately, you will have to think again. Official word was given earlier this week that the pool will not be open for the 2015 season. Although there were issues with the pool’s filtration system, the crew at the Upson County Recreation Department had hopes they could be fixed enough to last for this summer, but this past Monday they learned that would not be possible.
“We blew out another valve this weekend which caused a major leak,” said Upson County Recreation Director Mindy Daniel. “What started out as a drip is now a geyser.”
The staff of the Recreation Department had been working around the clock to do everything they could to have the pool ready for an inspection from the Upson County Health Department on Monday this week, however with the new issues, the scheduled inspection was canceled.
“The staff has worked diligently to repair leaks, but each time one repair was made another leak occurred,” said Daniel. “They have pushed it as far as they could push it and there just isn’t anything else we can do. We will not be able to open the pool for this summer.”
Daniel added the Recreation Department is in the process of contacting those who were interested in being lifeguards, parents who have requested swim lessons, and the swim team, to let them know that the pool will not be available this summer.
Major repairs are needed for the pool’s filtration system to function properly, however earlier this month, County Manager Jim Wheeless stated that they would have to be put on hold because the money simply is not available in the budget. He added the parts which are needed for the repairs are also no longer being made and are extremely difficult to find and a new filtration system will cost in the neighborhood of $60,000-$70,000. Upson County Commission Chairman Rusty Blackston suggested to the rest of the commissioners that the county consider repairs for the pool as one of the projects for the 2016 SPLOST.
The Recreation Department pool was rebuilt in 2009 by Augusta Aquatics, as a “walk in” pool with a six foot deep-end and the ability to hold a user load of 183 non-swimmers and 50 swimmers. The funding for the pool renovations came from the 2005 SPLOST where $500,000 was allocated for the project.
Ashley Biles can be reached by calling 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @AshleyBiles1