At least one Pahrump Town Board member believes in the importance of providing year-round swimming for local residents.
Local resident Rachael Roberts told board member Amy Riches that her research has revealed numerous benefits for the community if the consideration is adopted.
Roberts began her campaign by assisting the town in obtaining cost projections for the board to review and consider.
She suggested the construction of an enclosure for the pool would suffice.
“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.” she said. “We could also expand our aquatic industry resources, relationships and affinity partnerships,” she noted.
Roberts also believes that the population of Pahrump is more than enough to justify the 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.
Roberts approached Town Board member Amy Riches who authored the item this week.
Riches said she has also heard from many local residents who are in favor of the proposal, but there are a few limitations that need to be addressed.
“Because of Judge Wanker’s decision last month, we cannot enter into any employment agreement. And of course with year-round swimming, we would need to hire a lifeguard and staff. I’m hoping that if we do this, the county will jump in and they know the people want it, so they will have to deal with that end of it,” she said.
Additionally, Riches said the costs associated with the project should not be a deal breaker.
She pointed to previous town actions to drive home her point.
“We’ve already spent so much money on a study for a tourist attraction. How about if we gave the people something that they want? We got a few artist drawings for close to $300,000. We need to give the people what they want because it’s their money. Whatever the people tell me, is the way I’m going to vote,” she said.
Pahrump Town Manager Susan Holecheck also spoke about the money aspect.
Holecheck said much needed work for town pool should be addressed before the board considers any year-round swimming proposal.
“We are seeing cracks in the pool and it’s been 12 years since the pool was last done. It will cost about $40,000 to re-gunite the pool. If we wish to add a shade structure, the costs are in the neighborhood of $51-to-$55,000 more,” she lamented.
The town manager also noted that providing year-round staff and maintenance is certainly not a high priority at this time.
“Staff wages for the month of July was over $21,500. If you want year-round swimming, we would have to ensure that lifeguards are on duty at all times. During the summer, we hired high school students, and now, they are back in school,” she said.
A rundown of cost projections for the proposal shows the pool’s power bill averages $1,500 each month.
The chlorine for one month is more than $1,100, while hydrochloric acid and janitorial supplies average more than $500 respectively every 30 days.
As a result, Holecheck said regular maintenance for the year-round schedule is more than the town is willing to pay at this time.
She crunched a few numbers to determine if the community would support such an effort.
“The count for the pool from May of 2013 to September of 2013, was 14,000 at a cost of $.50 a day. It used to be $1 until it was lowered to increase attendance before I arrived in town. It’s not that we want to say no to the people. I would never want to say no, but these are the same people who question how we use our tax dollars. Whatever we do, we want to reach all of the population. I’m just not sure if we had year-round swimming, everybody would respond,” she said.
Board members also discussed purchasing decoration items for the upcoming holiday season.
Riches said she authored that item as well.