Dozens of children and their families flocked to the Maxwell Pool on Saturday to show sponsors how much they value their support.
Thanks to the generosity of local businesses and individuals, the Maxwell Pool has been free to swimmers on most days, and will be free the remainder of the season, said Maxwell Park and Recreation District Director Kyle Miller, at Saturday’s Community Appreciation Barbecue.
“We had a lot of support this year, and we have our pool sponsors to thank for that,” Miller said.
About 35 sponsors contributed about $11,000 toward the cost of operating the pool this year, as attendance alone would not cover the cost of labor, pool chemicals, and maintenance.
Children and adults enjoyed Saturday’s event, which included a free hot dog and hamburger barbecue. Caleb Giffin Insurance of Maxwell sponsored Saturday’s free swim, and Bruce and Heather Montgomery donated the meat for the barbecue.
Although financial support from Colusa County businesses and beyond has kept the pool open the past few years, the Board of Directors recognize the unsustainability of such a plan, especially as labor and maintenance costs continue to increase. The district has plans to ask property owners to support the first tax increase since its formation in 1986 through a Proposition 218 process, but keeping volunteers has also proven difficult.
After operating with just four directors the past year following the resignation of Chelsea Dirks, Directors Dale Johnson and Randy Wilkins resigned June 30, leaving the board without a quorum.
On July 30, the Colusa County Board of Supervisors will likely finalize the appointment of longtime volunteer Sharol Kuska to fill one of the vacancies. She will be sworn in at the Maxwell Park and Recreation District meeting on July 31, before district efforts go forward to seat another member.
The fifth position, which was unfilled in the requisite time after the vacancy occurred, will remain frozen until 2020, Miller said.
Kuska, who has worked for MPRD as the pool manager, said she was happy to step forward and apply to serve as a director.
“I feel like I was already a member with all that I already give, so when positions came open, I thought ‘why not make it official,’” said Kuska, who runs the pool’s successful snack bar.
Lifeguard Tish Nearly, who was on duty Saturday, said the Maxwell Pool means a lot to her family, from her 91-year-old mother, Ollie Reckers, who saw the pool built in the 1950s, to her grandchildren, Caleb Nerli, 7, and Sofia Gomez, 3, who come to the pool almost every day.
“We need to keep our pool,” said Nerli, who has also volunteered to re-energize the Maxwell MPRD Auxiliary. “It’s important for our town.”
According to betterhealth.gov, swimming is a good all-round activity for children and adults because it keeps the heart rate up but takes some of the impact stress off the body, builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness, and helps maintain a healthy weight, healthy heart, and healthy lungs.
Luke Pearson, 11, has also been at the pool nearly every day and is usually the first one at the gate and the last to leave.
“All the people are nice and I get to have fun with my friends,” said Pearson, who is looking forward to the Cardboard Regatta in August.
Special events and games have been traditionally held at the pool throughout the summer, and youth are invited to build cardboard boats for the event, tentatively scheduled for Aug. 8. The MPRD is also hosting water aerobics at 7 PM, Monday through Thursday at the pool. ■