WAXAHACHIE — Providing fun and education has been the mission of the Optimist Pool for countless summers. Those trends will continue after additional funding to aid the in the pool's operation was approved by the Waxahachie City Council at its Monday night meeting. The city’s yearly contribution to the pool’s operation will go from $18,000 to $30,0000.
“We have been fortunate to get city funding for several years, and we are thankful for that. But we have operated for many years, seven or eight years, at a loss. We wanted to make sure the pool stayed open, and we were able to provide swimming lessons and things like that,” Optimist Club President Brian Lance said. “This year we come to a different situation, and with the changes that we made last year with the pool itself, we need to keep water in it year around. We used to always drain it, and the cost would go down. Electricity was (also) turned off. Part of the unknown is not knowing how much it is going to cost.”
Lance said for the next nine months the club estimates that would be around $15,000 to cover the expenses.
Optimist Club Board Member Bryan Johnson said some of the renovations that were made to the pool included plastering it. In previous years the club had just painted the concrete surface. The cost of plastering the pool was around $25,000. By not draining the pool the water will help the plaster from becoming brittle.
According to documents supplied to the council, during the summer the pool averaged 30-50 people per day during its open swim. Around 100 people participated in the three swimming lesson sessions. The pool also had 13 daycares come during the morning with 20-30 kids once a week. The Ennis Boys and Girls Club would swim two days a week and bring 20-30 kids. The total attendance for 2016 was more than 6,000 people.
City Manager Paul Stevens spoke in favor of the city providing the Optimist Club with additional funding.
“The Optimist Club has been a great partner with the city I don’t know for how many years,” Stevens said. “They provide a service that is so often provided by a city and they have really made it easy on us.”
In addition to the pool's funding, the council approved a request from Altus Emergency Center for a specific use permit for an electronic message sign for its new location. Altus Emergency Center will be in the former Southwest Securities building located at 1791 N. U.S. Highway 77 in Waxahachie.
According to a March 12 Daily Light article, every Altus Emergency Center is equipped with first-class equipment, including X-ray, CT scans and a diagnostic lab on-site. Physicians and nurses trained in emergency medicine. Each Altus team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays. Other Altus locations include Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, and Lumberton. According to the Altus website, the Waxahachie location is expected to open this winter.
In other business the council
• Approved a request from Terry and Cathy Skipper for a specific use permit for an accessory building more than 700 square feet located at 2431 Marshall Road.
• Approved a final plat of the Carlisle additional located at 1701 W. U.S. Highway 287.
• Approved a final plat of the Buffalo Ridge Phase 3A, which includes 31 lots, and 3B addition, which contains 40 lots.
• Named Global High School student McCoy Merrell as the honorary council member for October.
• Presented a proclamation proclaiming Oct. 21 -31 as Red Ribbon Week.
• Accepted a certificate of thanks from Ellis County Emergency Management Coordinator Stephanie Parker for the city’s participation in the Ellis County Emergency Preparedness Fair.
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