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City pool on agenda
It is time to update Orland's swimming pool and possibly put in a splash park, too.
The City Council discussed the issue Monday night and liked the concept presented by City Manager Peter Carr and consultants with the Sacramento company All About Play.
However, nothing will move forward without money.
Council members want to know if Orland Unified School District will partner on the pool project before committing to it.
Carr said district officials are enthusiastic about upgrading the swimming pool but will need approval from the Orland Unified board to move a head.
School district Superintendent Chris von Kleist said Wednesday it is a great concept that could benefit the community and Orland High School students — especially if the pool is improved for year-round use and available for physical education classes and school swim meets.
However, the school district is currently building a $3 million cafeteria at Mill Street School and completing a $300,000 upgrade to the high school's gymnasium for women's restrooms, von Kleist said.
He said he needs to get those projects finished and get the district's two new board members seated before looking at the financing for the pool.
Carr told the council the city has about $500,000 in its park impact fee fund, which is enough to complete the pool's modernization. The estimated to cost is between $400,000 and $500,000.
But if it got a $250,000 match from the school district, it could use $250,000 for five other projects suggested by Orland's Parks and Recreation Commission.
Carr noted the pool would be improved to have eight swimming lanes so it could be used for competitive swimming meets.
New temperature controls, a modern water filtration system and replacement of the pool's gutter with a two-foot wide stainless steel or gunite gutter also are proposed along with pool covers, new stainless steel ladders and the installation of electronic racing touch pads.
Filling in the outdated baby pool and taking out the fence around it also is an option under consideration.
This would be replaced with a splash park at Lely Aquatic Park that would have a fire department theme for around $35,000, he said.
Carr presented photos of splash parks in Yuba City and Gridley that are popular with youngsters and are easy to maintain.
Users touch a fountain head and water splashes over them, but does not pool on the slip-proof concrete underneath. The water shuts off afterward as well.
Residential builders pay about $3,400 in park impact fees to the city, and Carr expects to add about $60,000 to the fund this year from homes under construction, he said.
Additional projects proposed include installing covered picnic structures at Lely or Vinsonhaler parks to accommodate 80 people for $35,000 and converting the city's tennis courts at Vinsonhaler into a entry-level skate park for $150,000.
The skate park could be used by skate boarders, roller bladers, BMX bikers and more, officials said.
Upgrades to playgrounds and Bihler Field round out the list.
"It is all very good but it depends on whether we can partner with the school," Councilman Bruce Roundy said, adding the pool is the number one priority.
As for the proposed skate park, Roundy said those are more "mainstream" these days and do not have the bad reputations they once did.
Councilman Dennis Hoffman said he swam in the city's pool as a boy in the 1950s and believes it is important children learn how to swim in this area of lakes and canals.
Orona Ike, a board member of the Orland Otters swim team, said upgrading the pool could bring swimmers from surrounding areas to meets in Orland since many pools are closing down.
Water polo, water aerobics and other activities also could be conducted at the pool, she said.
Student Carlos Ramirez spoke in favor of the skate park saying it sounds "really awesome," and would provide youth with something to do in town. The owner of a local skate shop also lauded the idea as it would allow her skate team to practice at home rather than going out of town.
The council plans to take the issue up again in January when it has more information on what Orland Unified can do.
Von Kleist said the district could potentially pay a match for the swimming pool from the Measure K, school construction bond or state matching construction funds - provided the district had a lease on the pool since those funds can only be used for district property.
It also might do a line of credit with a local bank for the project, he said, depending on how things work out.