Paris area pool to open for the 2016 summer season this weekend

Community member sitting poolside at the Monroe County Swim Club Pool. Photo from the Monroe County Swim Club Facebook page.

Need to beat the heat this summer? Well starting tomorrow, the Monroe County Swim Club Pool will be open for another summer of fun.

The pool will be open between 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. However, it took a small army of volunteers and supporters to make this year’s swimming possible.

Before this year’s swim season, the pool took an unpleasant turn for the worst, when it turned an unpleasant shade of green. The Monroe County Swim Club thought they would have to change the pool filter which cost upwards of $15,000, not including installation labor. Since community membership barely exceeds the cost of maintenance each year, an expense this extravagant could ultimately be the demise of the in-town pool.

“I’ve run pools for years and never had one quite this bad,” said Glenda Miller, a board member of the Monroe County Swim Club. However, good news came from Paul Heinecke when he told Miller to ‘knock off the rust,’ make a new lid to seal it, and add more sand to the filter.

The current filter is part of the original pool and system which was constructed in 1985, making the pool 31 years old. Miller said the land was donated by William and Shirley Lindsay and attributed Mac Wilt, Charlie Callis, Floyd Lawson, Rodger Levings, Sidney Threlkeld, Carol Blackwell, and Cheryl Hunter as just a few of the influential community members that made the pool possible.

It cost roughly $100,000 at the time to build, which may sound like a lot, but is nothing compared to the amount spent on community pools today. “The costs of building a pool double every eight to ten years,” said Miller but expressed that pools built within the past few years in surrounding communities have cost up to $2 million. It’s important to keep this pool alive due to the expensive nature of rebuilding.

Brandy Forsyth pressure washing the pool during the 2015 cleanup. Photo from the Monroe County Swim Club Facebook page.

Maintenance averages around $20,000 each year and that comes solely from the memberships that community members buy each year. Membership costs are $175 per family until Memorial Day (May 30) and will rise to $200 after. The swim club hopes to have 80 memberships this year.

When asked why she has chosen to stay on the swim club board since 2007, Miller replied, “I went to the pool everyday. I just feel that kids need a place to go, and that’s what I did.”

Lifeguards are not available, so caretakers need to be present with children under the age of 12. Kids at the age of 12 can watch their younger siblings and ages 14+ can babysit other people’s kids.

In a recent Facebook post, Miller stated:

As some of you may know from past experience preparing the Monroe County Swim Club (Paris pool) for summer has been major hard work & a stinky undertaking every year. Money is always tight and volunteers hard to find. I would like to thank everyone who put in some long hours cleaning, painting, sucking sand out of our filter, pressure washing, repairing valves and things I don’t even realize got done. Jeff Crook for helping fix anything & everything & getting equipment running. Joey Billings, Dana Billings, Max & Miranda for cleaning in the rain. David Young for making parts, Jason Chapman, Trazarra Chapman, Ethan & Landon for hauling out many buckets of green stinky sludge & painting, Jackie Crigler-Bordeleau for painting & picking up more paint when we ran out. Gary & Wren Johannaber for sucking all of the dirty sand out of the filter. Paul Heinecke for telling us the filter was just fine. Just knock off the rust & get on with it!! Last but not least my family, Tony Miller, Brett Miller, Delaney Miller, Brock & Reid for hauling green sludge, pressure washing, painting & anything else that needed to be done. I can’t thank all of you enough!! That said, we still need some sand bags carried & dumped in the filter. Taking volunteers. Thanks again!!

Joey Billings dumped the 2,500 pounds of sand into the filter but Miller says the Monroe County Swim Club is always looking for new volunteers and still needs help changing some butterfly valves.

If you are wanting a membership, please contact Glenda Miller at (573) 682-0557. Checks can be dropped off at her residence or office located at 201 S. Main Street.