Home Politics New pool is a top concern for this week’s City Council

New pool is a top concern for this week’s City Council

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The potential for a new city pool continued to be an issue for Athens City Council on Monday  during a session focused on committees.

Council members spent the majority of their meeting addressing whether an indoor pool or an outdoor pool will serve the community best.

A recent feasibility report done by the consultants planning the new pool shows that an outdoor pool would suit the city’s needs better than an indoor pool. However, interest polls taken online by the City Council show that citizens would prefer an indoor pool.

Representatives of Brandstetter Carroll, a consultant group responsible for advising the city on the concepts and logistics of the new pool, were in attendance to address their findings and voice their confidence in the report.

“I’ll stand behind my staff and your committee and your city staff that we made a great report here.” Lawrence Brandstetter, president of Brandstetter Carroll, said.

One local resident said an outdoor pool would limit the amount of time people could use the facility.

“We have wonderful weather in August, but the pool is closed,” the resident said. “If we had indoor availability, more people can swim and they can swim all year around.”

Due to concerns regarding costs, contractors advised against an indoor pool. Representatives of the company reminded the council that nothing is firmly set, but they ultimately recommended that the City of Athens stay away from an indoor pool because year-round operating costs could be prohibitive.

“You still have time to re-evaluate and consider the alternatives,” Brandstetter said. “We’re still in the process. Our goal coming here tonight was to tell you that personally.”

The City Council also discussed the need for new patrol cars for Athens police.

The Athens Police Department has asked the Finance Committee to approve a $4,000 transfer from their supply line account to help pay for two patrol cars. The cars will be bought from a state bid auction in order to save the city money, but Athens Police will still have to pay to have them outfitted with the proper decals and equipment.

“I would like to offer my support to our police force, but I also would like to consider other alternatives like motorcycles, both electric and diesel,” said councilman Kent Butler, D-1st Ward. “They cost less and are a lot quieter.”

Council members also said they want to always consider the environmental impact of their decisions.

“We do have to consider if it has a desirable environmental impact,” said councilman Jeffrey Risner, D-2nd Ward. “We have to look at what lessens our carbon footprint.”

Council members will meet to make decisions on these matters next Monday.

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