A small group of citizens attended the scheduled hearing concerning the repair/remodel of the Virginia Ryan Strain  Pool at the regular council meeting on Monday, Nov. 7.

Kevin McElyea from Aquatic Design Consultants in Kansas City was present to discuss options. He said he had 35 years in designing aquatic facilities.

City Manager Bruce Rogers said the pool was built in 1914. The pool has been owned by various individuals and in 1981 it was purchased by the city.

Rogers said that the pool loses up to 15,000 gallons of water every day and one day this summer it lost 20,000 gallons. He said that the pool never completely drains after the summer season because groundwater comes up through the cracks.

McElyea told the people that there wasn’t any indication that the pool had proper drainage and that would be necessary to improve the pool. He mentioned several other ideas including a splash pad at the southeast corner. He said, “You are not alone when you have a facility like this. It comes down to having to do something. You either renovate or build somewhere else.”

Rogers said part of paying for the pool, which could cost several million dollars, would come from the citizens voting to renews a portion of the sales tax that was originally used to finance the community building. A portion of that tax is to expire next year.

Rogers was asked if there was grant money available. He said there was through the Department of Natural Resources. The grant is contingent on local support.

Rogers said that the issue has to be decided on by Jan 24, 2023 in order to be placed on the ballot in the Spring of 2023 asking people to renew a portion of the sales tax.

If renewing the tax fails the pool will continue to deteriorate.

All councilmembers were present; Glenda Baker, Jim Luster, Gabby Kinnett, Nathan Murrell and Mayor Cory Gayman.

In regular session the council discussed the difficulty in getting burned-out homes removed.