Many village of Ashley residents were upset this year when they learned the community pool wouldn’t open for the 2018 summer season due to a rip in the pool liner. Thanks to a donation of $48,000, village residents can now look forward to using the pool in 2019.
According to Elaine McFarland, a village council member, the donor asked to remain anonymous, but said they always wanted to do something for the children of Ashley.
“We are getting a new pool,” she said. “We’re really excited since it wasn’t open last year.”
McFarland said the liner had pulled away from the concrete when the pool was filled. She said she called a pool company she knew to get a quote for the repairs.
“They came down to look at our pool,” she said. “They said it would cost $450,000 to $750,000 (to replace the entire pool).”
McFarland said there was no way the village could afford that price, but the owner of the company did give her the number of a competitor, the REO System. She sent the company some photos of the damage.
“When he said it would cost $48,000, I said we could do that,” she said. “Then I had this person come to me and give me a check for $48,000.”
McFarland said she couldn’t believe how things had worked out. She said the company will repair the concrete in the pool, install a new liner, and repair the deck around the pool.
“It was a long summer without a pool,” said Renee Rarick, fiscal officer. “We didn’t know about the rip until we went to open the pool last year. Then we couldn’t get a company in here, because they were all so busy opening up everyone’s pools.”
Rarick said residents went out and bought pools for their yards or went to neighboring community pools last summer to beat the heat.
McFarland said people complained about the closing, but there wasn’t anything officials could do at the time.
“The complaints on Facebook, you just wouldn’t believe them,” she said. “I posted on the Ashley web page that everybody should be happy, because next year we’re going to have a wonderful park.”
Rarick said it costs $35,000 per year to run the pool, and there won’t be an increase in the fees for the 2019 season. She said a season pass to the pool, for a family, will remain at $135.
McFarland said the village also received a $10,000 grant to build a second shelter house on the old tennis court at the park that surrounds the pool. She added she would like to see a tether ball court installed.
“The people love this park,” McFarland said.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.