November 5, 2020
By Karen Riggs
Patagonia Public School Swimming Pool. (Contributed Photo)

The Patagonia District School Boards voted to extend the existing IGA between the school districts and the Town through Feb. 2021, with the caveat that if the cost assessment to get the pool up and running came in prior to that, and was bad news, they could meet with the Town and mutually vote to end the IGA early. The Town voted on Oct. 28 to agree to the extension of the IGA, as well. 

The schools and the Town have asked Friends of the Patagonia Pool (FOPP) to contribute $531.25 per month toward what is estimated would be the ongoing expenses through the extended IGA. The FOPP Board agreed, recognizing that COVID has been financially devastating to the Town’s finances as well as for the the schools. 

FOPP was pleased to learn that the cost for the facility audit, to be conducted by Counsilman-Hunsaker, will be considerably less expensive than the originally proposed full opening plan, which had included training for operators and a complete opening, operations and maintenance plan. FOPP determined that the facility audit would be sufficient at this point. It will identify the physical needs of the pool to operate and be in compliance, along with costs and phased timing for most immediate needs. This assessment will give the Town and schools a clear picture of what they own, its value, and costs to get it ready to open.

The recent article in the PRT has also been bearing fruit. A resident of Patagonia contacted FOPP who has experience in teaching swim lessons and water safety, programming and pool operation, expressing interest in being the pool/program manager. Also, a  chiropractor is interested in coaching swim teams and has experience teaching CPR, and a musician has volunteered to help with a fundraiser with his music.

On Nov. 4, FOPP plans to have Patio Pools reassess the pool cleanup costs. The group expects to receive the quote for the assessment from Counsilman-Hunsaker and scope for facility assessment in the near future, as well. The company could schedule their assessment trip in about a month after that and would have a final report about a month after the visit.

The South32 Hermosa grant committee will meet in mid-November to determine whether to award FOPP an extra $10,000 for the assessment. The good news there is that the group can get the basic assessment and do a good deal toward pool cleanup and ongoing operation for a few months without it, if need be.

FOPP has not asked donors to send in their earlier pledges up to this point, because they wanted to make sure there was a path forward for the pool. The results of the facility audit should provide the answer to that question.