In August, three women addressed the Board of Supervisors during the public comment period held at the start of each meeting.
All three, who described themselves as long-time swimmers, decried conditions at Carson City’s popular Carson Aquatic Facility.
“It’s used by the healthy and handicapped, young and old. It is constantly populated,” said Marjorie Scott. “But it is not well maintained and that is a disgrace… For too long, the city’s used bubble gum, Band-Aids and baling wire to keep it running.”
Nick Marano, city manager, responded and said he would fix it.
Later, when asked, Marano said he hadn’t heard similar complaints from anyone else, but that didn’t minimize the problem for him.
“Voters made a powerful commitment to recreation and our recreation assets,” he said. “Carson City residents are passionate about the trails, MAC center, the pool. In city government we respect that passion.”
Since the public comment, juvenile service crew members, performing their community service, have been in to wash windows, scrub pool tiles and clean up the handicapped ramp into the pool, one of the complaints discussed at the supervisors meeting.
Another issue brought up was routine maintenance, like the rusted hinge on the handicap shower in the women’s locker room.
That’s being fixed, too, and the door now closes.
And plans are to use alternative sentencing crews, also doing community service, to strip the chipped paint from the rails around the children’s pool and seating area and repaint them.
Mike Freeman, recreation program manager, aquatics, said the crews will now be scheduled regularly to help clean and do minor maintenance.
“We haven’t had that before,” said Freeman.
That’s what public comment can make happen.
Those fixes are part of a lot of changes in the works at the facility, which features an outdoor 6-lane pool and slide and indoor Olympic-size pool, therapy pool and kiddie pool.
About $300,000 will be spent on the facility in the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 fiscal years, said Jennifer Budge, Parks and Recreation director.
The most publicized project is replacement of the roof over the indoor pool, which is being designed now.
The vinyl overlay on the concrete floor around the therapy pool was replaced in February for $21,970 and the tiles around the edge of the outdoor pool replaced.
Freeman said he’s looking at ways to redo the overlay on the indoor pool’s floor, too, which is a much bigger project and could involve doing sections at a time.
Pool covers recently purchased for $21,000 help keep the indoor pool warm and reduce heat loss by 95 percent, said Freeman, as well as evaporation.
Another $14,500 has been allocated for security cameras to fill in gaps in coverage provided by seven existing cameras.
And this winter $15,000 is being spent to refurbish the slide on the outdoor pool.
Eventually the indoor pool, which was last plastered in 1999, will need to be replastered and the ladies locker room may need an overhaul.
“That’s a substantial capital investment to redo the shower room,” said Budge, as is the pool replastering which would run well into six figures.
Freeman doesn’t know exactly how many people use the pool annually, but revenue from admission is $268,000. Admission is $4 for adults and $3 for everyone else, but punch cards for multiple visits can be purchased at a discount.
“It is one of the most heavily used aquatic facilities. We host all the major championships,” said Freeman.
And this week it may host a small reunion between the three women who brought the pool to the supervisors’ attention and Marano, who has invited the three swimmers to join him in an aquatic aerobics class there.
The pool is open 5:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 9:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.
For more details, call 887-2242 or go online to http://carson.org/government/departments-g-z/parks-recreation-open-space/recreation-division-programs-and-classes/aquatic-facility.