The public pool in Maple Creek is officially open for the season despite its age.
According to Parks and Recreation Manager Korey Pinkerton, the town’s pool has been around for about 50 years and is becoming harder to open every year.
“It’s past its life cycle,” Pinkerton said. “I bet you it’s been band-aided together for the last 20 years.”
There were a number of problems while setting up the pool this year, Pinkerton said. Shortly after the pool did open during the second week of June, the water pump broke, causing a brief closure from June 7-10.
“With what’s been going on the last five or six years, I think we should take its opening this year as a blessing,” Pinkerton said.
The pool re-opened June 11 after the water pump was replaced.
Pinkerton says the Town of Unity recently purchased an outdoor pool, similar to the one in Maple Creek, which cost about $1.5 million.
“That’s what we’re looking at for a typical seasonal three-month open pool,” he said.
Pinkerton says the pool can’t last forever the way it has been running in the last few years, and the pump breaking after its opening is the kind of thing that keeps happening.
“Does [the pool] need replacing? It does – it’s done. Can we afford to do it? I can’t – not right now… It’ll be up to council and the residents of Maple Creek.”
Maple Creek Mayor Barry Rudd agreed with Pinkerton, saying replacing the pool is something council will need to discuss.
“We have to look at it. It’s on the agenda already for next year to start looking at it around budget time,” Rudd said.
With a pool costing upwards of $1 million, it would need to be a joint effort between the Town and residents, like with the community arena, Rudd said.
It’s possible the town could look at other options, such as whether relining the pool could extend its life cycle as well, Rudd said.
Rudd says he believes the pool could last another eight or so years as long as the Town keeps very good care of it.
“We have to do a better job of putting it away in the fall to ensure the water is blown out of all the pipes and all that stuff, which gives a 90 per cent chance in the spring you’ll be all right,” he said.
Council will need to look into the costs of a new pool regardless, Rudd added.
“You can apply for grants for pools and infrastructure, but they’re getting harder to get,” he said.
Rudd says working with the RM of Maple Creek and a potential fundraising committee could be options to raise money for a new community pool as well.