On the Road: Community seeks to save summer fun

Published 10:00 am Friday, December 21, 2012

U.S. Aquatics provided the Adams Town & Country Pool board with this rendering of what their future pool could look like. -- Photo provided

A few dedicated people want to ensure a summertime staple in Adams doesn’t simply disappear with age and time. So last week, they started to move in the right direction.

Those people of the Adams Town & Country Pool board held a public meeting last Wednesday to address the immediacy of the issue: The pool in Adams, which was built in 1965, is well past its prime.

The Adams pool.

“It’s something we don’t know if we can continue just running off of volunteers,” said pool board president Wayne Kiefer.

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Pool board members said the kiddy pool may be closed in 2013, and without widespread support, the entire pool facility may be closed the year after that. The main problems include compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act for the pool itself and the poolhouse. Other issues include the outdated filtration, fencing and the obvious insurance questions that come along with those.

“If the whole Southland community does not come together on this, it will probably close in a matter of two years,” Kiefer said.

The pool board isn’t waiting for a miracle to happen, either. They want to allow U.S. Aquatics from Delano, Minn., to retrofit the existing pool and get back within compliance codes. And they want the community’s help — all of Southland, including Adams, Rose Creek, Elkton, Dexter, Taopi and rural residents.

“We want to make it a Southland community effort,” Kiefer said.

That means along with awareness, pool-goers and supporters need to raise funds, nearly $780,000 to make the ultimate vision come true. The approach will require more than it did in 1965, however.

“When it was built in 1965, it was build off of donations, and some people paid memberships right up front,” Kiefer said about paying for the pool.

While the pool board will still seek donations, it also has several fundraisers in the works and perhaps more ideas to come. Farmers State Bank of Adams has already offered to match two $5,000 donations, and the Adams Economic Development Association has even offered to match a $15,000 donation. Furthermore, farmers can donate grain to Northern Country Co-Op in Adams to generate proceeds for the project.

Though the price tag may seem high, U.S. Aquatics has indicated that other southeastern community pools cost in the $1.5 to $2 million range. Adams’ prospective pool, however, would use the existing pool’s footprint, a “pool in a pool,” as Kiefer calls it. A main feature, to get within ADA guidelines, would be to install a zero-entry, or a gradual entrance. With that, the pool would be suitable for all ages and physical abilities.

The board agrees with U.S. Aquatics’ plans for another feature, as well.

“One important thing is we’re going to put in a stainless steel gutter system around the pool, which eliminates all underground piping,” Kiefer said. “That has been a financial and troublesome issue since Day 1, is leaky pipes.”

Kiefer and pool board member Steve Golombowski know the pool is still widely used, as more than 5,000 people visited it last summer. Furthermore, they don’t want to lose the locals to nearby towns that have recently built their own pools.

“It’s a great community thing to have,” Golombowski said, who cited the recreational, learning and swimming safety aspects of having a pool.