City: Wave pool problems not immediate need
Craig Summertime is on the horizon, and the City Park wave pool will be there when the time comes to dip your feet, city officials said.
Dave Pike, Craig Parks and Recreation Department director, said the wave pool might open as early as next week.
Sylvia Griffiths, Pool Complex aquatics manager and lifeguard, said the wave pool is one of the city's bigger attractions.
"People have been coming from Steamboat and Meeker and Rifle for years, from all over," she said. "It's really a Yampa Valley attraction."
But although the wave pool is important to the city, some issues in the future may make it an expensive toy for residents.
An engineering report from OLC Aquatics estimated the wave pool could use roughly $339,000 in repairs and renovations to fix ongoing issues.
None of those issues are dire needs, however, Pike said.
"The pool isn't in danger of failing now," Pike said. "These projects aren't things that need to be done this year. They don't need to be done next year. We just wanted to have an engineer come out and look at it so we know what we're dealing with."
Pike looked over the wave pool Thursday.
He pointed to cracks along the walls and spots of aquapoxy that plug up the cracks and a rickety ladder that needs some work.
"Sooner or later, we just need to address the problem of resurfacing the pool," Pike said.
Each year, the Parks and Recreation Department hires workers to perform what has become regular maintenance.
Pike said city officials are not sure why the pool's surface has been wearing since it opened in 1986, if it had to do with faulty materials, faulty application of the surface or weather.
OLC Aquautics estimated resurfacing might cost about $141,000.
But, generally, this kind of maintenance can be expected with a pool, Pike said. Nothing about the pool's condition represents an immediate danger to swimmers.
Some of the pool's other issues include recommended renovations to the exterior to limit water settling outside the walls, a possible fix to the concrete wall separating the wave fan and the water and a possible renovation that would allow multiple kinds of waves instead of the standard pattern now used.
All together, OLC Aquatics estimated those projects could be $124,000.
Pike said the city may have enough to look at funding those projects as early as 2009.
His department receives about $98,000 each year from the Conservation Trust Fund, made up of state lottery proceeds. In 2008, Parks and Recreation had a $263,000 capital construction budget.
It's too early to say when funds will actually become available for wave pool projects, Pike said, but money probably will be there before the wave pool becomes unusable.
He also said the Craig City Council's decision to spend $20,000 on recreation center developments should not affect wave pool projects.
That money was unbudgeted for 2008, Pike said, and makes up less than 6 percent of the wave pool projects' costs.
On Tuesday, the Council approved taking the money out the Conservation Trust Fund, with Councilor Joe Herod casting the only opposing vote.
Herod said he would like to see that money used for the city's existing facilities.
The Council approved the money to contract with Denver-based firm Sink Combs Dethlefs.
The company will organize community meetings to discuss what features a recreation center should have, prepare preliminary site plans and a site layout and organize a financial team to prepare a bond question and secure lender financing, if necessary.
The city isn't trying to push a recreation center on the public and disregard other concerns like the wave pool, Pike said.
"I think both projects have equal merit," he said about the recreation center and the wave pool.
The recreation center proposal came back around because of input from city residents and the recent citizen survey, Pike said. The survey showed 63 percent of respondents would favor a tax increase to fund a recreation center.
"If that survey came back and said only 20 percent of people responding favored a tax increase, we probably wouldn't be doing this," he said. "It's citizen-driven. This is not city-driven."