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Dayton closing city pool

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    Dayton City Council voted to shutter the city pool at Daniel Park permanently. The Vindicator | Russell Payne

For nearly 30 years, local children and families have enjoyed summers swimming and diving into Dayton’s City Pool, but now those times are ending.

Monday night, the Dayton City Council decided to permanently close the pool at Daniel Park and convert it back to green space, a move that Mayor Caroline Wadzeck said was made with regrets.

“Obviously, it was not an easy decision for the city council to make. There’s a lot of history behind the pool,” City Manager Steve Floyd said.

The pool, which opened May 22, 1993, has become increasingly costly to the city after structural issues were causing the pool to sink, amongst other problems and costs associated with upkeep.

“The pool has sunk on one end; it’s actually four inches farther in the ground on one end than it is on the other,” Floyd said.

Floyd has been inquiring about costs to fix the pool and has an estimate from Hancock Pools in the range of $600,000-800-000 just to repair the structure, but the city would have to perform a $50,000 engineering assessment to find the scope of the repairs.

According to Floyd, after researching the subject, the average lifespan of an inground pool is between 25-40 years, and that depends on upkeep; the Dayton pool is nearly 30 years old.

Annually the pool brings in very little revenue, only $36,000 last year. Operating costs associated with the pool far exceeded those numbers, averaging nearly $200,000 a year. Half of that is going towards maintenance, with the other half funding the pool manager and lifeguards.

Shelley Dailey has spent the past twenty years serving the pool as manager and overseeing swimming lessons and water aerobics.

“I was very sad to hear that the City Council has made the decision to permanently close and demolish the pool at Daniel Park. This has been an iconic establishment for families in the City of Dayton for years,” Dailey said.

Dailey was saddened by the closure and spoke on her memories of the pool further.

“The memories I have made over the years will stay with me a lifetime. From the babies in swim lessons growing up to become a lifeguard…the friendships made with the ladies in water aerobics…the customers that come back summer after summer. While I can understand it is a business decision, it makes me sad to think of it coming to an end. I sure hope in the near future that the City of Dayton can create a place for families to spend time in the summer,” Dailey said.

According to Floyd, the city is not alone, who said that communities across Texas have been getting out of the pool business.

The city hopes to eventually create another outdoor water feature for residents to enjoy during those hot summer months.

“From the city standpoint, a really nice splash pad is the way to go,” Floyd said.

Council has expressed a desire to have any future endeavor more accessible to residents in town, and one such idea is to increase the size and amenities at the Parker Park splash pad.

The Dayton Community Development Corporation had previously allotted $150,000 towards repairs at the pool. Still, it was believed those funds would merely be like placing a band-aid on the problem at this point. DCDC must approve any use of those funds for another project.