madison-press.com

Will London pool open this summer?

By Jane Beathard jbeathard@civitasmedia.com

March 28, 2014

An effort by City of London administrators to hire a seasonal manager for the municipal swimming pool are on hold.


On Thursday, March 20, city council delayed allocating an $8,000 salary for the five-month position. The group will again tackle the issue on April 3.


Safety-services director Steve Hume hopes to hire a manager by April 15 to prepare for a late May pool opening. Linda Granger, who managed the pool part-time in 2013, is a likely candidate for the job.


Granger earned about $4,600 last year, working on an hourly basis. She and two other part-time employees shared management duties last year, Hume said.


Council member Steve Scaggs questioned both the pay and need for a full-time pool manager.


“You’re doubling the salary this year?” Scaggs asked.


Granger told council she donated about 687 hours in unpaid work at the pool during the 2013 season.


“We’re doing things that haven’t been done before,” she said.


Granger noted last summer’s users found the pool cleaner and better equipped than in previous years. Through personal connections, she obtained about $40,000 in donated equipment and services.


Local teens usually work as assistant managers and lifeguards, but need adult oversight, she added.


“You have to have an adult running the pool,” Granger said.


Recreation director Ben McCoy agreed, calling the pool an important community asset.


He noted attendance numbers and special events increased last summer, boosting overall pool revenue.


“Events partially subsidize the pool,” McCoy said.


He noted all money spent on city recreational facilities is a good investment, bringing increased participation, and as a result, more income.


Scaggs thanked Granger for her insight into pool operations, but refused to support emergency approval of the salary ordinance. A majority of council members followed Scaggs’ lead.


The group also delayed until April a vote to increase funding for city parks and recreation. A resolution sponsored by Rodney Lauer to add $12,500 for personnel and $22,500 for operations remained on first reading.


McCoy offered to withdraw $8,500 of the requested $22,500, after learning the city must refund $59,350 to Madison County Auditor Jennifer Hunter in overpaid inheritance taxes.


A mistake by an out-of-town attorney in settling an estate led to the overpayment. Neither the name of the attorney nor the deceased are public record, an auditor’s spokesperson said.


The city will repay the county from capital funds held in reserve.


Jane Beathard can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 16 or via Twitter @JaneBeathard.