Money Keeping West Tulsa Pool Afloat, Drying Up

Tuesday, March 3rd 2015, 11:11 pm
By: Tess Maune

Money to operate a 50-year-old west Tulsa pool has dried up. The cost of repairing and running the Chandler Park pool is costing the county thousands of dollars each year.

County Commissioners said they're trying to decide if they can afford to stay open another summer.

It's hard to think about swimming with a snow storm looming, but the Chandler Park pool is the minds of many who feel heartbroken at the thought of it shutting down.

The pool at Chandler Park is empty for winter but those who have precious memories there are full of emotion.

Folks learned during a community meeting Tuesday night that the 50-year-old pool doesn't have much life left, it's simply falling apart.

“Each year we continue to invest in the pool and try to cobble it together,” said County Commissioner Karen Keith.

Keith said the pool has reached the point of no return.

She said while community pools aren't built to be money makers, numbers show the county is losing money, more than $60,000 to run the pool over just the past three years. Building a new pool could cost up to $2 million.

“We don't have the dollars right now to do a new pool, but in a new funding package, absolutely, that could be part of it,” Keith said.

She said the county might be able to give swimmers one more summer at Chandler Park, but after that, the pool will have to close.

Pam and Dennis Kennemer's grandkids spend their summers swimming at the pool; they can't stand the thought of seeing it go.

“We just hate to see things cut down on the west side,” they said. “We wanted to keep the pool open, it's a nice little pool.”

Keith said families won't be left completely high and dry. They can always use the Reed and South County pools in west Tulsa; or the Salvation Army indoor facility in Prattville.

There's also a new pool in Sapulpa.

“We'd rather spend our money here than Sapulpa,” Dennis Kennemer said.

The county said it should know by the end of the month if the pool will be able to open up for one more summer.