City of Guthrie announced on Thursday the municipal pool at Highland Park will not open this season due to ongoing drought conditions. City officials warned last month this scenario could play out.
The pool was last closed for the season in 2020 due to COVID.
“We know that it is important to provide water amenities to the public during the summer season for the kids and citizens of Guthrie,” a statement by the said that was shared on social media.
Low lake water levels were another deciding factor. Despite recent rainfall that increased the lake level by a foot, the lakes remain seven feet below normal.
Related article: Low water levels close boat ramps at Guthrie lakes
Related article: City closely watching water supply during the current drought
According to city officials, the pool requires 238,000 gallons of water to fill with an additional 40,000 a day to maintain water levels.
CIty leaders say they are exploring partnerships with nearby pools in an effort to still provide summer amenities to the community.
The Guthrie YMCA operates the pool each season by providing open swim, swimming lessons, water aerobics, and parties. Now, they too will look for other options to provide those services.
“What is so sad to me is the people who enjoy and really utilize the pool for water aerobics and exercise,” resident Sandee White said. “Yes they can drive to Edmond and go to Mitch Park YMCA but that gets extremely costly. There isn’t much for older kids to do in Guthrie and the pool was one thing that was available and not super expensive.”
The splash pads at Mineral Wells Park and Highland Park will open Friday, May 26, and stay open through Memorial Day from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. After this weekend, they will operate on a Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. schedule.
Future of the pool?
The swimming pool, which was constructed in the 1930’s, has been discussed throughout the years, including in 2016 when the city council ultimately voted down for adding improvements to the pool and a proposed water park feature as part of the Capital Improvement Project (sales tax).
In 2019 during their annual city council retreat, council members requested a study for options regarding the pool, including the remaining life expectancy and replacing the pool. However, City staff has not addressed the study since that time.
During the 2019 retreat, council members did not list the pool as a top 15 project opportunity or critical issue. The top projects, include a new wastewater treatment plant, Harrison Street bridge, a street overlay and bridge maintenance program, and repair of the spillway at Guthrie Lake.
The estimated cost of a new municipal pool is estimated between five to seven million dollars.
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