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Board hears year-round swimming proposal

<Selwyn Harris / Pahrump Valley Times  Local residents may have to wait for year-round swimming at the town pool. Town Manager Susan Holecheck said costly renovations on the interior of the pool should be addressed prior to consideration.
Horace Langford Jr. / Pahrump Valley Times  More lifeguards and increased maintenance will be necessary if town officials approve year-round swimming for local residents. Initial costs associated with the proposal are expected to run more than $60,000 a year. The costs may be too prohibitive, but a study to determine as much was approved this week.
Horace Langford Jr. / Pahrump Valley Times More lifeguards and increased maintenance will be necessary if town officials approve year-round swimming for local residents. Initial costs associated with the proposal are expected to run more than $60,000 a year. The costs may be too prohibitive, but a study to determine as much was approved this week.

Pahrump Town Board members dove head-first into the issue of providing year-round swimming for local residents this week.

On Tuesday, board members heard a presentation from local resident Rachael Roberts.

As of late, there has been expressed community interest in having a year-round swim facility.

Last year Roberts began her campaign by assisting the town in obtaining research and possible cost projections for the board to review and consider.

She told the board that her efforts have revealed many benefits if the consideration is adopted.

“With upgrading our town pool to a year-round aquatics center, we will foster the development of new programs and help facilitate greater access to the existing facility by promoting and developing program methodologies for maximum utilization of the pool facility. We could also expand our aquatic industry resources, relationships and affinity partnerships,” she noted.

Roberts also said she believes that the population of Pahrump is more than enough to justify her proposal.

“Pahrump is pushing 40,000 and I think Nye County is pushing about 43,000 or so. That leaves us roughly with 20 percent under the age of 18 which is about 8,000. Twenty-five percent of our population is over the age of 65. We definitely have a very large and happy population spanning all of our age groups,” Roberts said.

Though board members listened patiently to Roberts’ presentation, the costs associated with the project seemed to be pricier than what board and staff anticipated.

At 42 feet wide and 81 feet long, the pool holds roughly 210,000 gallons of water.

The total implementation for year-round swimming exceeded $64,000 to simply provide constant heating of the facility.

Maintenance and personnel would create additional costs.

Additionally, a permanent enclosed structure for the town pool would far exceed that figure, thus it was summarily nixed.

Two other heating options, propane and natural gas were dismissed by Roberts who said it would be much too expensive.

Propane could run up to $30,000 a year to heat the pool.

Roberts suggested going with an electric heat pump system to accompany a removable pool blanket which totaled $64,482.

Following the presentation, Pahrump Town Manager Susan Holecheck praised Roberts’ efforts in the gathering of information for the proposal.

At the same time the town manager reminded the board that the interior of the pool is in need of a partial renovation in the not too distant future.

“When you talk about guniting a pool, it lasts about 10 to 15 years. It has been 12 years and we are already beginning to see cracks. You are probably looking at $40,000 to gunite the pool. If we want a shade structure, that’s going to be another $51,000. I just wanted you to know she is trying to give the best figures she can as far as a year-round amenity but it would be good for you if you want to sit down with her or me because in the long-range there’s a lot more figures you probably want to have before you made a decision,” she said.

At the same time, Holecheck enumerated what it would take to provide the community with the proposal.

“You are now talking about having lifeguards, chemicals and maintenance year-round so there’s a lot more figures that are involved in this year-round amenity. We just want to make sure we support her and give you the total package as you go into the budget sessions,” she said.

The agenda item was timely due to the fact that three years ago this week, the pool underwent a major renovation on the deck portion of the facility when board members at the time awarded a bid to Gothic Landscape for more than $212,000.

Wiring problems, leaky light fixtures, and dirt instead of base underneath the pool’s deck precipitated the project.

Following further discussion by the board on Tuesday, board members voted to direct staff to set up a series of meetings with Roberts to hash out additional details surrounding the scope and costs of the proposal, which will be revisited at a town board meeting later this year.