Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Summary of 2016 Budget Meeting for Pools

Some of this information was posted on other sites, but I wanted to give a summary of what was discussed for those not on Facebook.

The meeting was moved to the Council Chambers in anticipation of a larger crowd. Only about 12 people show up including myself, Regan Ford, Ryan Woods, and Gary Woronchak.

The recommendation from the city administration is to build a new large pool at Ford Woods and a splash pad at Whitmore-Bolles. $218,400 from the Wayne County Parks Millage plus $30,000 from the City of Dearborn general fund would be used to build the splash pad.  The meeting was not a public forum, but they did ask for Gary Woronchak's opinion on what the County's money, which he secured, should be used toward. Gary said he would like to see a splash pad or a pool, but personally would prefer a pool for sentimental reasons. He concluded that any decisions would of course be up to the city / council and should not be based on his recommendation.  After much discussion it seems the council is not inclined to approve ANY new splash pads until they see the results of the two current ones which have yet to be operational due to their late completion last year. Councilman Bazzy is pushing for a pool at Whitmore-Bolles, it seems most of the council is split or uncertain either way, Councilman Shooshanian seems inclined to not have neighborhood pools at all. The Mayor is pushing for a large zero entry pool with lap lanes and "comfort station" (locker rooms) at Ford Woods at a proposed cost of $3.0 million. Since the closing of the Hemlock pool usage at the current Ford Woods pool has dramatically increased.
Councilman Bazzy afterwards said he wasn't convinced that there is full support on the council to even approve the large pool for Ford Woods.

New pool liners are to be installed this fall in the lap pool and diving well at Dunworth as part of the current 2015 budget.

Crowley pool will be razed as repairs are now estimated at upwards of $200,000. The pool liner is heaving and cost to repair is just not feasible. Demolition costs are estimated at $40,000.

It is assumed the original lifespan of the current neighborhood pools that are left was 25-30 years, they are now at 60 years of operation. The city's current stance on the existing neighborhood pools is they will remain operational until such point that repairs are cost prohibitive. Basically repairs less than $40,000 could be done. There is some debate as to whether or not parts can be found to fix the aging pools. The Mayor claims that parts to repair are not being manufactured and hard to find. This may or may not be the case. Given their age the death sentence seems to have been written. It's just a matter of time before they will be closed, could be 1 year, could be 10 years, but probably sooner than later.

There will be a public forum budget meeting on June 2nd at 6:30 pm at the DAC. Residents will be allowed to voice their opinions at that meeting.

As an additional note, it looks like they're going to tear down the fountain in front of the Centennial Library which has not been functional for some time and create the new memorial park there instead of on the soccer field next to the Dearborn Administrative Center. There are no plans now to construct a new enterence road for the DAC or any other construction at this time on the soccer field between the DAC and the library. Also they look to explore the possibility of adding an indoor soccer venue attached to the east side the Preforming Arts Center. No funds other than that for the exploratory commission are being pursued.

This is just a summary of what I got from the meeting.
If there is any inaccuracy please let me know and I will edit this post.

Timothy Harrison
S.O.D.A. Vice President