Overland Park Threatens To Close Public Pools
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A consulting firm hired by the city of Overland Park is recommending the city shutter four of its six pools to help the city save money.
The report and recommendations published by Ballard King and Associates can be found here.
In it, the consultants point out that in 2009 the city lost $422,544 and $517,393 in 2010 by operating and maintaining the pools. With only 20% of all Overland Park residents using the public pools during the summer months, the city is not bringing in enough money to cover the costs involved in keeping them open.
The consulting firm gathered public input through written and online surveys. In its final report, the consultants recommend closing Roe Pool at 104th and Roe within the next two to three years; closing Marty Pool at 74th and Conser within the next five years; closing Bluejacket Pool at 101st and Bond and Stonegate Pool at 97th and Antioch within the next ten to 20 years once they outgrow their usefulness.
The report also recommends renovating Young Pool at 77th and Antioch Road with lap swimming and an improved children’s pool; building more slides and a lazy river at Tomahawk Ridge Aquatics Center on 119th and Lowell; and building a new indoor/outdoor pool aquatics center south of 151st Street to serve the growing population in southern Overland Park. If the city council agrees with this proposal, the city would go from six outdoor pools to three larger aquatics centers, not including the indoor pool at the Matt Ross Community Center on the 8100 block of Marty.
While the report acknowledges that some residents might be upset to hear their neighborhood pool will be closing down, it states these actions are needed to help the city reduce costs. Roe Pool opened in 1969 and is expensive to maintain, the report said. Marty Pool also has some major maintenance issues like sewer problems.
Overland Park residents can learn more about the pool proposal during a public meeting Thursday night from 7pm to 9pm at the Matt Ross Community Center. The Overland Park city council plans to vote on the issue in October’s meeting.