Public pool is hard goal to float

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 11, 2010

No one’s best stroke has been enough to keep Miss-Lou public pools afloat in the last decade.

The Natchez city pool closed in 2001 and sits empty today. The Ferriday town pool was closed by the health department in 2005, but briefly reopened in 2007, before closing for good.

Now, Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin says the town will not spend the money need to repair the pool and reopen it.

As Natchez and Vidalia prepare plans for brand new recreation complexes, pool talk has surfaced again.

Everyone wants children to have a place to swim, but the reality of operating a public pool in 2010 isn’t pretty.

Children — and even parents — don’t take care of things like they did years ago. Liability risks for injuries or even death could severely hurt local governments. And too many parents would be likely to try to break, bend and ignore rules, turning the pool into an unpaid baby sitter.

The recreation committee driving the plans in Natchez has said they will include a pool at the new complex. They aren’t to the point of determining details just yet, but the group would be wise to spend extra time studying the pros and cons of including a pool.

The money-guzzling feature must come with a strict set of rules and a firm way of enforcing them.

Costs of chemicals, cleanup, maintenance and repairs need serious evaluation as well.

Yes, every child should have the opportunity to learn to swim and enjoy summer in a pool. But this isn’t the world it used to be, and maybe a changing world brings changing opportunities.