Pool makes splash
Published 12:13 am Thursday, May 21, 2015
NATCHEZ — Talk of constructing a pool at Liberty Park made a big splash at the Natchez Board of Aldermen special meeting Tuesday.
Natchez Mayor Butch Brown said the city previously pledged $500,000 for the pool, but the county has yet to chip in.
“Everybody now agrees that’s a good place for a pool,” Brown said. “But the county hasn’t really done anything.”
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Alderman Dan Dillard argued since Liberty Park is on city property, the board shouldn’t have to wait to make moves on constructing a pool.
“I don’t think we should wait until the end of time when everyone agrees,” Dillard said. “The city can update its properties at any time.”
Brown said other stakeholders in the construction of a pool at Liberty Park — like members of the Natchez-Adams School District school board — have been contacted, and everyone agrees a pool would be a good addition to the park.
“The school board said they would furnish land for the pool at their location in Liberty Park,” Brown said.
And while the pieces of the pool puzzle seem to be in place, Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis said she’s wary on when the plan will actually come to fruition.
“At some point, the city and county needs to come together, put money in an account, and start digging up some dirt,” Arceneaux-Mathis said. “I think we are going to have to put some pressure on the county about this.”
Alderman Tony Fields said he would like to see renovations be made at Duncan Park before a pool is constructed at Liberty Park.
“It just makes me nervous, because all of the renovations at Duncan Park can be done, but we’re in shaky area with the pool,” Fields said.
Brown also added that it’s still a possibility for the city and county to partner with the YMCA in Jackson for guidance on a pool facility.
However, Brown pointed out that bringing in the YMCA would come with inevitable costs.
“I don’t care if the YMCA comes here, but we have people who think the YMCA works for free, and that’s not the case,” Brown said. “Yes, it’s a great organization, but it costs money.”
Until the city and county can agree on a formal plan of action for a pool at Liberty Park, Brown said Natchez would have to wait for a community pool.