Mayor proposes city’s parks and recreation department take over day-to-day management of community pool

Published 11:20 am Monday, April 24, 2023

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NATCHEZ — The city’s Board of Aldermen will be asked to approve a new plan for the operation of the Community Swimming Pool at its meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m.

“It came to our attention that they have been struggling to have a quorum at the meetings of the pool board,” said Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson.

The city and the county appoint the board charged with making decisions about the operations of the community pool.

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“We can’t take any chances with this, particularly when our children are involved. We must make certain the pool is properly operated and operated safely,” Gibson said.

The new proposal would put the day-to-day operations of the community swimming pool under the direction of the city’s parks and recreation department.

“Our parks and recreation director, Sanora Cole, has proven she can do a great job and is willing to get licensed and certified to operate a swimming pool, and do it quickly,” Gibson said. “They have a good staff already in place at the pool.”

The swimming pool’s current governing board would be dissolved and policy decisions about the pool’s operations would be made jointly between the Adams County Board of Supervisors and the city’s Board of Aldermen.

“I think this will cut through a lot of issues we have been dealing with for a few years,” he said. “The city and county will share in the expenses of the pool, like we do now, and in any major decisions, like hiring and policy. The city clerk and whomever the county designates will make sure proper accounting systems are in place and that funds will be spent and collected properly.

“At the end of the day, I think this is something everyone will agree with to make sure the pool is run correctly,” Gibson said.

The county’s Board of Supervisors also will have to approve the new agreement.

Specifics of the new pool agreement, outlined in a letter being presented to the Board of Aldermen at its meeting on Tuesday and sent to the Board of Supervisors include:

1.     The city and county together will run the pool with supervision by the city’s Director of Parks and Recreation Sanora Cole.

2.     Existing personnel Sherika Miller and Ralph Daniels will continue to work.

3.     The city and county both will have final say on all hiring and firing and policy decisions.

4.     Sanora Cole will immediately apply for the necessary certification.

5.     Policies will be reviewed soon to make sure they are safe and sound. If any changes are needed, the city and county will work with the pool staff to make them.

6.     The City Clerk and the county’s designee will account for all funds as of the date of transition and oversee fund collection processes going forward with help of the pool staff. Reports will be given monthly to the city and county.

Also on the agenda for Tuesday’s aldermen meeting:

• A request to waive all city fees for permits associated with the construction of a new Habitat for Humanity home at 319 Old Washington Road.

• Approval of a bid to purchase a new stove for the convention center.

• Discussion of the Legends Concert, the city’s Juneteenth Celebration, which will be held on June 17 at the City Auditorium and approval of Magnolia Sessions for coordination of the event, as well as approval of the Juneteenth sponsorship of $2,500.

• Report of the Mississippi Association of Planning and Development Districts 2023 Conference.

The aldermen meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday ad the Council Chambers, 115 S. Pearl St., Natchez.