It’s now official, so get ready for a dive inside the outdoor pool waters of Green Mountain Falls.
After toying with a variety of options, searching for a long-range plan and evaluating annual budgets, the Green Mountain Falls’ municipal pool will soon open for the 2023 summer season.
But residents can only splash and dive away during the weekends due to operational costs. The facility will be free for local residents; however, donations are highly encouraged.
Still, the pool opening news has emerged a big plus for the community, as most earlier predictions were not favorable towards a reopening of the facility. Town leaders toyed for months with a variety of suggestions, such as getting local and regional sponsors, or partnering with the Aquatic Center in Woodland Park.
But at least for now, town leaders have accepted a compromise plan, dubbed as a temporary, “stop-gap” measure.
In a presentation at last week’s GMF Trustees meeting, Don Walker, a member of the local parks, recreation and trails committee, outlined the group’s top pick, involving a “three-star plan.” This would encompass 42 days of operation at the pool, which amounts to having the popular facility open primarily on the weekend from Friday to Sunday. Family hours will occur from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with adult swim time from 6 to 8 p.m. during the days the facility is open.
The cost of the operation for this summer is estimated at about $15,000. “This is just a stop-gap,” said Walker.
The plan calls for two employees, a pool coordinator and a certified lifeguard. However, the operation will rely on an ambitious list of local volunteers who will help out in manning the facility. The opening day for the pool is scheduled for June 2. The pool will be closed in early September.
Officials note that a more detailed study is forthcoming that will give the town more of a comprehensive, long-term plan for the facility.
The future of the GMF swim pool has somewhat been in limbo due to the high maintenance and operational costs. In the last few years, the town has struggled with ways to keep the facility functional. Some leaders even mentioned the possibility of using the area for an alternative use.
However, strong community support has been expressed towards keeping the pool open, according to city leaders.
Walker expressed optimism that a hefty amount of donations could be solicited, and passes could be acquired by short-term rental properties for their summer guests.
Mayor Todd Dixon remained optimistic that the town could handle the operational costs for 2023, even though this is not a budgeted item.
“This is the right direction,” said Trustee Nick Donzello. “It is an asset for the town.”
The trustees strongly favored the compromise. The other options were to only keep it open for two days or one day a week; but these plans didn’t get that much of a favorable review.
But both the trustees and the PRT committee members agree that town needs a comprehensive look at the facility. Aqua facilities are difficult to maintain at a profit or even a break-even margin.
They usually become community assets funded by the local government.