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The Williams City Council is looking to a summer without the coronavirus disrupting day-to-day life, especially for youth.
At their regular meeting on March 18, the City Council reached deep to find $300,000 to repair the town pool.
Officials said their only alternative would be to keep the pool closed for the summer after a failed inspection by the Colusa County Environmental Health Department.
While the city managed to make it through the end of the 2019 season with a temporary fix, the county noted at least nine issues that needed to be addressed before the pool could open this year, including cracks in the filters and the complete cracking of the pool shell, among others.
“Without the work, we cannot open the pool,” said City Manger Frank Kennedy. “If you think about what that pool means to the youth of this town it would be a blow to them not to have it.”
It will take about 60 days for Adam Pools, the qualified bidder, to renovate the pool.
Officials are tentatively optimistic that coronavirus, like the flu, will lose infectivity as a result of weather changes, which will influence how long social distancing and lockdown policies need to be in place.
The pool is tentatively scheduled to open on Pioneer Day, June 6.
“We will not open the pool if it is not safe for the community,” Kennedy said.
The Williams pool, which is open to swimmers at no admission cost, had about 7,000 patrons last summer, up from about 3,400 in 2018 and 2,700 in 2017, when there was an admission fee. The pool costs the city about $50,000 a year to operate, officials said, but provides a vital recreational service to the public, the same as city parks. The proposed work will include a complete interior finish, new drain covers, replacing the deep-end ladders with new wall step inserts, a new pool deck, and plumbing repairs.
“You will basically have as close to a new pool as you can have,” Kennedy said.
The City Council voted 5-0 to fund the pool repairs from various sources, including park impact fees, administrative fees, and from the sell of PG&E credits for undergrounding utilities to another city that currently has an infrastructure project in the works.
“Even if the pool couldn’t be opened because of the virus situation, we would still have a fixed pool for the future,” said Councilman John Troughton. ■