Walker wants county to pour in funding for public pool

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 12, 2001

[02/12/01] If the City of Vicksburg has its way, non-residents will be allowed to swim in the city’s public pool for the same rate as city residents this summer if Warren County kicks in some cash.

While daily admission is available, the city charges $40 for a summer pass for city residents and $60 for county residents. Family summer passes are $80 for city residents and $120 for non-residents.

The Lee Street pool, which opened in 1995 at a cost of $1.7 million, is staffed and maintained by the city at a cost of $75,000 to $96,000 annually. The money is part of the parks and recreation department, said Sid Beauman, director of the department.

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The pool uses a sign-in sheet to determine addresses, but North Ward Alderman Gertrude Young said it’s difficult for pool employees to be able to verify all of them. She suggested pool employees consult a list of addresses to make sure the swimmers are paying the appropriate rate.

However, Mayor Robert Walker said he thinks that is too complicated.

“I would like to see one rate structure, make it less complicated,” said Walker. “Maybe we need to meet with the Board of Supervisors to see if they would help underwrite the costs of the pool and baseball field and softball field, so everybody can pay one fee.”

Warren County owns and operates a vast recreational complex, Clear Creek at Bovina, but it has no pool.

“We need to talk to the county to see if they would be willing to eliminate the extra charge on county residents by contributing to this operation,” Walker said.

Supervisors president Richard George said the issue will have to be discussed with the county’s recreation board.

“We’ll certainly be willing to listen to what they have to say,” said George.

District 3 Supervisor Charles Selmon, whose district is within the city limits, said he thinks it would be a good idea to help out the city, but that recreation in the city and the county leaves a lot to be desired.

“I think the county has not met its obligation to its residents for recreation,” he said. “The county needs to help the city with its plans, but also establish our own recreational facilities.”

Selmon said he would be for any kind of recreation in the community, including non-athletic activities.

“It’s not just about recreation,” said Selmon. “You give young people things to do, you will have less problems in the community.”