COMMUNITY POOLS throughout the Ohio Valley are drying up. Many towns and and villages throughout the area either no longer have or no longer wish to operate their summer water recreation venues.
The once-popular Bellaire pool closed a few years back due to costly repairs and upkeep. It has since been filled in and landscaped into a site of a girls softball field.
Shadyside is one of the fortunate towns to still have a community pool, and a very nice one. It reopened a few years back after a spirited effort from the community.
The pool, however, has become a recent lightning rod for some controversy. It is a problem, that with some communication and cooperation, can easily be washed away.
Community pools are not designed as money-makers. With all the associated costs and expenses that go with such a civic-minded project, losing money is inevitable.
The question is how much?
The Shadyside pool lost some $17,000 this past season. That total is obviously higher than village officials would like.
Part of the problem was the summer's unusually cool and rainy conditions. As a result, the pool was closed more than normal.
A big reason for less revenue flowing into pool coffers was a lackluster effort to push pre-sale pool passes. Such an undertaking was the foundation for the pool's reopening years back after being closed the previous summer.
A set figure of passes needed to be sold in advance or the pool would remain closed. The community championed the cause and met the quota.
Shadyside needs to keep its pool operating. Village officials also need to revisit the pre-season pool pass procedure as a way to ensure losses are kept to a minimum.