Sinclaire Sparkman: Getting in the pool

Sinclaire Sparkman • Updated Jun 16, 2017 at 1:00 PM

As the swimming season dawned on Wilson County a couple weeks ago, both the splash pad in Mt. Juliet and the wade pool in Lebanon stayed locked up due to maintenance issues. Ava’s Splash Pad had a fairly easy-to-fix computer issue and didn’t stay closed for long, but the wade pool at Don Fox Park was delayed by government process. 

The process for wading pool repairs was a bit more complicated than calling in tech support. A faulty liner was the culprit of the closure. It apparently floated right to the top as workers attempted to fill the pool on the Friday before the opening on Memorial Day. Instead of putting a bandage on a larger issue, they knew it was time to say sayonara to the 12-year-old liner and plaster the pool. 

Some councilors wanted to make the repairs an emergency expense, which would have sped the process up a bit, but free relief from summer heat unfortunately did not meet the legal standards for an emergency. 

So began weeks and weeks of waiting for approval of funds, bids to be cast for construction and so on. 

At the last council meeting June 6, the council voted to open a bid for a repair company and accept a good offer upon the closing of the bid. Legally, the bid was required to remain open for a week. 

With the council meeting every other week, it didn’t make much difference since approval of funds was also necessary and couldn’t be decided until after a bid was accepted.  

During the wait, Lebanon locals with children ages 10 and younger were allowed access to the pool at the Jimmy Floyd Center, provided they could prove residence within city lines, so families could still get some respite from the heat. 

Upcoming on Tuesday, the city council will most likely vote to approve $50,000 for the community park fund for the repairs to the wading pool at Don Fox park. 

The liner that has seen its last winter may finally get to rest in peace after this decision is made. It is by no fault of local officials that the process takes as long as it does, it is just the way that government works, slow and steady. 

All things considered, this has moved along at a fair pace indeed. 

The first official day of summer is June 20, on the day of the council meeting. If money for repairs is approved, then hopefully the wading pool will be up and running not long after the summer solstice. 

Sinclaire Sparkman is The Democrat’s news editor. Email her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @wilsoncoreports.

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