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Council wades into pool operation again

A reversal of position by the Millwood City Council may be good news for young swimmers this summer.

During its regular meeting Monday night, the council approved re-opening the Millwood City Park wading pool on the condition adequate trained staff is hired.

The decision came after Bobbie Beese, a Friends of Millwood representative and city resident, questioned the council’s June 16 decision to keep the pool closed until the community raised $8,000 for repairs.

Beese requested clarification on the pool’s operating costs. “Does it really cost $1,800 for water for the pool?” she said.

Referencing the 2009 budget, Beese pointed out the total water expenses, including spray pads, was $1,800. “How did we get $1,800 just for the pool? Sounds inflated to me.”

Mayor Dan Mork said the figure is correct, and noted that the maintenance staff drains and fills the pool every other day.

Beese also asked if the council could use the $3,000 budgeted in the spring for the pool’s demolition to operate the pool this summer.

“Considering some other things the city is spending money on,” she said, “$2,000 to $3,000 to have a whole lotta happy kids is a really good payback for not a lot of money.”

Mork replied the city doesn’t have the funds to allocate for the pool’s operation.

Councilman Kevin Freeman requested a time line for making a decision regarding the pool. “The sooner the better,” Mork answered.

Freeman, along with other council members, stressed the importance of staffing. A pool employee needs to pass a Red Cross safety course.

Maintenance manager Cleve McCoul said he would contact a person who had passed the necessary training.

The council decided if McCoul can staff the pool, it would amend the budget to open the pool.

Freeman said the council will decide how many hours the pool will operate based on the availability of the new hire. McCoul stressed the pool would remain closed any time staffing is unavailable.

In other news, the council approved Washington Cities Insurance Authority as Millwood’s new insurance provider. Coverage will begin Sept. 1, with a proposed 2012 premium of $34,601.

WCIA is a public entity risk pool that will provide the city comprehensive property and liability insurance coverage.

The city’s current provider is Cities Insurance Association of Washington. Millwood notified that insurer last September it would select a new provider.

The council also approved an ordinance for electric vehicle infrastructure, in response to a new state law requiring all local governments to allow electric vehicle charging stations.


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