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Year-round swimming idea not dead in water after all

<p>Selwyn Harris / Pahrump Valley Times - Buildings and Grounds Manager Matt Luis discusses how the town is working to provide adequate space for local sporting events at area parks during a recent Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting.</p>

Selwyn Harris / Pahrump Valley Times - Buildings and Grounds Manager Matt Luis discusses how the town is working to provide adequate space for local sporting events at area parks during a recent Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting.

A renewed demand for a year-round town swimming pool has spurred the Pahrump Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PPRAB) to delve further into the matter.

A recent meeting got the board talking about ways to provide swimming for the community when summertime officially ends as it did on Sunday.

PPRAB Chairman Dave Clausen said it was a resident who recently approached the board with the suggestion.

“Rachael Roberts came in with her child who was a swimmer. She just wanted to see what the alternatives were and to see what the costs were for a year-round facility,” he said.

The idea of providing a year-round pool was discussed by the Pahrump Town Board last summer when local business owner Chris Tellis expressed his desire to partnership with the town on building a facility.

Tellis told the board that he would pay half of the total cost, which was estimated to run more than $7,900 for a study provided by an area engineering firm.

The town would have had to kick in an additional $7,900.

Board members eventually sank the proposal due to the fact that the proposed site would not be located on town property.

Pahrump Buildings and Grounds Director Matt Luis said the idea to provide a year-round swimming pool is still not dead in the water after speaking to Roberts.

“I have talked with Rachael and she will spend some time creating a list of who would be interested in swim teams and how long they think they would use the pool. We also talked about if it needed to be heated,” he said.

Luis also said that another survey may be taken to gauge the town’s reaction to having a pool all year long.

The first survey taken last year showed there is indeed interest among local residents for having a pool at their disposal.

The latest survey will be taken during the fall festival at Petrack Park next week.

The board will again revisit the swimming pool item next month.

The issue of providing more basketball courts in town was also taken up for discussion during the meeting.

At present, Petrack Park is the only town-owned facility that provides basketball courts.

Luis said the town board will address providing courts on the far north end of town at Simkins Park during Tuesday’s town board meeting.

He cautioned that the endeavor will not be cheap from the predesign phase to supplemental service.

Gary Guy Wilson Architects from Las Vegas was selected to provide the initial engineering services.

“The engineering fees and project management are $25,000. Our policy states that they draw up the plans and we also pay them for project management. That means they are responsible to come out to the site to make sure the contractors are doing the work according to the plans and that is on Tuesday’s agenda and they are actually going to provide a rendering of the basketball court and where it will go,” he said.

Luis also said if the town board approves the item, construction of the courts may take more than a month to complete.

“They told us that six weeks would be the actual construction time frame. They are asphalt courts with a six-inch concrete ribbon running around the outside,” he said.

Clausen, meanwhile, said the courts at Petrack Park are past due for servicing.

“The courts over there are very slick and the town board is looking in to possibly resurfacing them because they are a little worn and slippery,” he said.

Town board Chairman Harley Kulkin said the need for more recreational activities in town is one of the reasons the board is considering the item.

“We are always trying to move forward with things and provide more services. The town is in charge of the parks and we are trying to improve those. There is a great demand for sports in the community and we need to keep up with the demand,” he said.

The Chairman also spoke about the desire to have local businesses to share in the effort.

“In the old days we could get some volunteers to help with something like that by laying down some concrete and getting some basketball goals but nowadays it doesn’t work like that. People are afraid of somebody getting hurt and suing you. Now you have to pay an engineering firm to design everything and make sure that it meets all of the criteria required these days to anticipate any kind of problems,” he said.

The town recently completed major improvements at Simkins Park. They included a 125-space, asphalt parking lot and shade covering for the playgrounds. The park also provides picnic tables, a softball field and new landscaping.

The town board was expected to render their decision on the basketball courts during last night’s regular meeting.

Due to time constraints, results from the board’s decision on action agenda items will appear in Friday’s edition of the Pahrump Valley Times.