Pool Project ‘Wading’ On Details

Reporting to members of the Truth or Consequences Recreation Advisory Board at their January 6 meeting, city manager Juan Fuentes said the municipal swimming pool cover project requires the completion of several remaining tasks and admitted that he could not yet say when the initiative would be finalized. Although once again assuring board members the project’s completion date was nearing, Fuentes explained that a lighting problem and some remaining drainage issues needed to be addressed before the renovations would be formally accepted. In an initial test of the pool’s new equipment, Fuentes said a backup generator failed to engage properly. The issue prompted a call to contractors with Arizon, Inc. to conduct a thorough examination and additional tests to assure all of the facility’s equipment functions as designed. Saying the additional delay was disappointing, Fuentes added that the city would not accept responsibility for the facility until they were certain the new cover and all of the newly installed equipment was fully operational. In response to a comment, which suggested warmer weather would soon return and perhaps negate the enclosure’s purpose for this year, Fuentes stressed that the cover would likely remain in place into the months ahead. He said the facility would be air-conditioned and told the board that the initial months of operation would provide an opportunity for a real-time test of all the pool’s components. He suggested that the process would require the cover to remain in place for an extended period of time. Although the facility is designed to allow for a dismantling of the cover during the warm weather months, Fuentes said this would not be an easy process. He said he wanted to be sure crewmembers were thoroughly familiar with all aspects of the new facility, before engaging in a seasonal dismantling of the cover. The city manager also reminded board members that a true assessment of future costs could only be conducted once the construction project is completed and year-round operation of the facility begins. Fuentes noted electricity costs for the municipal swimming pool have already more than doubled. He told board members that the monthly utility fee rose from approximately $1,500 to about $3,200 since the cover was installed and that costs associated with full operations could prove to be quite significant.