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Farmington gathers public input about pool

Hannah Grover
hgrover@daily-times.com
At right, Donna Thatcher and other community members on Tuesday at the Farmington Civic Center vote for drawings with their favorite features for a proposed Brookside Pool remodel.

FARMINGTON — Community members told city staff what they'd like to see happen with the Brookside Pool during multiple meetings today  at the Farmington Civic Center.

Architects presented options to the community before giving people red, green and yellow stickers to vote on what features they would like to see in the future aquatic center.

People who were unable to make it to the meeting will have another chance to comment and vote during a meeting at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The city decided not to reopen the pool this summer due to health concerns related to its aging infrastructure.

After closing the pool, the city contracted with FBT Architects for a feasibility study to examine the options for replacing Brookside Pool, which included an almost identical facility or looking at what types of family aquatic facility could be built in two price ranges — $2 million or $4 million.

Ted Grumblatt, with FBT Architects, delivers a presentation on Tuesday at the Farmington Civic Center on the city's proposed options for remodeling Brookside Pool.

During a city council work session earlier in the day, city manager Rob Mayes emphasized that the city will not raise taxes or cut services to build the aquatic facility. He said the city may consider refinancing two bonds.

Sarah Walker, who has been swimming at Brookside Pool for more than 30 years, attended an afternoon meeting holding a large white sign with pink letters reading "We love Brookside Pool."

Walker said she wants to see a lazy river —  a narrow section in the pool that has a slow-moving current — as well as a diving area and lap lanes.

"I still want to preserve what Brookside meant for people of the community," she said in an interview after the meeting.

Since the pool was closed, Walker has been swimming at the indoor Lions Pool.

"It's quite boring," she said during the meeting. "You do your laps there and you get to look at bright lights instead of blue skies."

Some of the features that the community members liked were an activity pool with lap lanes, climbing ropes crossing over the pool, natural rock formation themes and interactive toddler elements. The features were grouped into price ranges. The popular, but more expensive features included a rock climbing wall, two water slides and a lazy river.

Mike Duke, aquatics manager for the Farmington Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department, says the Brookside Pool was losing 12,000 to 15,000 gallons of water a day last season.

In addition to FBT Architects, Counsilman-Hunsaker  — a company that focuses on aquatic facilities — is working on the feasibility study.

George Deines, a project manager with Counsilman-Hunsaker, said the architects are looking at features that could draw people from surrounding communities as well as the local area.

"A facility like this could have a 90-mile draw," he said.

During a city council work session earlier in the day, Councilman Sean Sharer recommended a Connie Mack World Series theme.

“A lot of the baseball players who come from around the world go to Brookside Pool,” Sharer said.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.