MOUNDRIDGE — Moundrige’s Swimming Pool is in dire need of repairs, but recreation director Vicky Kessler said it needs more than just a face lift this time.

“The pool was built in 1970. It has been under many operations and had some facelifts to make it newer. However, we’re to the point now where it needs more than that. We’re loosing a good eight to sometimes 10 inches of water a day because of a leak we have,” Kessler said.

Kessler said there is a drain which flows into a creek from the pool, but she also said most of the pool’s water is seeping into the ground.

“That can’t be good either because it has chemicals in it,” she said.

Kessler said the city pays for their pool water. However, because the pool loosing water so quickly, the recreation commission has had to keep up in the cost of chemicals — around $1,600 for the last two weeks of summer.

“The chemicals are very expensive. I bought just enough to finish us out for the last two weeks. But at the beginning of the year, we buy enough for our standard pool size and we buy them in increments. This year has been unusual, because of the high May temperatures. So we’ve used more chemicals this year. The place where I get them (the chemicals) from was actually on back order so all pools across Kansas were facing the same issue,” she said.

Kessler recently attended a Moundridge City Council meeting to bring the pool’s problems to their attention.

“We’re at a point now, where we have to decide several things. Does our community want a new pool? Will they use it?... I asked the city, ‘What do we need to do to get this fixed,’” Kessler said.

Now that the issue has been addressed, the city is looking to get the problem solving by having a community engagement session about the pool.

“We’re just in the beginning stages of this process. We’ve talked about the pool for several years now and we know it has major issues. We will have to do something here sooner rather than later,” Moundridge City Administrator Randy Frazer said.

While Kessler said she would like fix the pool, she said it’s up to the community to act on its desire for one.

“It’s what our community wants. The city, school and the recreation commission all work together as a team to provide the best opportunities for the people of Moundridge. We all have in mind what is best for our community; but we need to hear from them,” she said.

Kessler said she would modify the pool for small children if they decide to go forward.

“My vision would be adding a zero-entry portion to the pool so that we could have younger children, mothers, families all in the same pool. Our kiddie pool is not connected to the big pool, so if families come, they are separated. I want families to be together when they are here,” she said.

The city has looked into adding a splash pad or a newly renovated pool, but know that both items are cost-ineffective.

“A lot goes into both items. A splash pad would cost around $600,000 and a new pool would cost around $1 million,” Kessler noted. “We’ve brought a company in to see how much and how long it would take to do both of those, but until we hear from the community, we can’t do anything.”

“The pool is a quality-of-life item. Obviously a community can go without one. It’s one of those things that makes a community more enjoyable. If we didn’t have one, we’d loose a lot of things like kids being able to take local swimming lessons. There’s a lot of pros and cons that come along with this,” Frazer said.

Frazer said for the Moundridge community to keep their eyes and ears open for upcoming discussions on the pool if this is something that they want fixed.

For more information, call the city of Moundridge at 620-345-8246. 

Contact Brooke Haas by email at bhaas@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.