London pool options are discussed
By Dean Shipley
Does a community swimming pool add to the quality of life in London?
London Community Organization (LCO) representatives Steve Lelonek and John Dixon discussed that question Monday morning with Madison County commissioners.
Lelonek said the LCO has adopted the London Municipal Swimming Pool as a project for 2013. He said closing the pool because of budgetary issues does not reflect positively on the community as a whole.
“Goods and services are going to deteriorate if we don’t band together,” Lelonek said. “We’ll see a demise in the quality of life.”
The pool has been incurring losses, most recently in the amount of $30,000, Dixon said. Add to that a carryover loss of $20,000 and the total is $50,000.
Dixon said that amount does not include the water, for which the water department provides it at no charge.
Dixon said on the income side of the ledger there’s “not much.” Without actual figures in hand, Dixon said “visually you can tell its down.”
“Kids stay in air conditioning and play video games,” he said.
Commissioner David Dhume reflected on how busy it was during his boyhood, but since then things have changed. More backyard pools exist and some children apparently remain inside an air conditioned home and play video games and make no apparent effort to go swimming.
Lelonek explained the visit was “exploratory,” because the city “has thrown its hands up.”
Commissioner Paul Gross said the situation of the pool “needs to be re-evaluated from top to bottom.”
Dixon said now is the time to move on the subject because by March, other area pools and water parks will be interviewing for lifeguards.
“In March, you need to train lifeguards,” Dixon said.
He also admits any effort will be maintaining an old structure, which dates to the 1930s.
• Commissioners also spoke with Gerald McHenry regarding the condition of the horse barns on the fairgrounds. McHenry feels with the coming of the racinos, interest in harness racing will move from a trot to a gallop. He feels the 60 rental stalls in the two barns on the fairgrounds hold potential for additional revenue for the Madison County Agricultural Society.
Currently the ag society has a contract with an individual for $13,000 for operation of the two barns. It could be more if the barns could become a training center.
Currently some stalls are not rented. Some have sustained apparent damage due to an insufficient rain gutter system on one of the barns. Also, McHenry said some county horse owners have opted to rent horse boarding facilities in Fayette County.
Commissioner Mark Forrest asked McHenry to gather some data including how much other county facilities charge for horse boarding and a list of repairs needed.
In other business, county treasurer Donna Landis presented a report on county investments, which total $16,179,593. She said the line labeled “Money Market Savings,” the amount was increased by $2 million, from $10.6 million to $12.6 million from numerous bond investment payments which came due in December.