GUSTINE - The city will spend approximately $50,000 to repair its municipal swimming pool in advance of the summer season.

The City Council recently approved a quote of nearly $38,000 for repairs - the most substantial of which is fixing a large leak in the pool’s main drain. The project will also include repairs to a float valve and installation of main drain pool grates to come into compliance with regulations.

In addition to the work approved by the council at its March 16 meeting, concrete work is required at the west end of the pool to remedy trip hazards and repair areas where the pool deck foundation is sinking. The city is getting quotes on the concrete work.

Dan Arnold, the city’s director of public works, reviewed the pool deficiencies and remedies.

The main drain leak is not a new issue, he noted. The city did have an underwater epoxy applied at one point in an effort to patch the leak, but that was not a long-term solution.

“They told us that it would be temporary. It held for a little while but then it started to leak again. We are definitely going to have to revisit that one,” Arnold told the council.

Efforts to repair the concrete were also unsuccessful.

“We tried our best to put some temporary patches on the tripping hazard,” Arnold explained. “It became apparent that there was a section of the decking between the pool and the (diving board) pedestals that was sinking. The sub-base pulled away from the concrete. We are definitly going to have to address that.”

The city is applying for grant funds for a full renovation of the pool, Arnold acknowledged, but even if the application is approved renovation work will not begin for a few years.

Time is of the essence, he emphasized.

“Due to the dire nature of the foundation issues and the situation we have with the pool we would recommend that the repairs not be held off,” Arnold stated.

Council members concurred.

“If we are going to keep this in service for several years, we may as well fix it now,” commented council member Rich Ford.

“If we need to do it, we need to do it right the first time,” stated Mayor Pro Tem Derek Alexander.

Mayor Pat Nagy questioned whether the city’s water table would impede with the repairs.

“Is this the right time of year?” he questioned.

Arnold said that a monitoring well next to the pool indicated that the water table is down about 13 and one-half feet.

“That is still below the pool. I don’t think there should be any problems,” Arnold stated.

That might not be the case later in the year when the water table may get higher, he acknowledged.

“That is part of the reason we bring this to your attention,” Arnold told the council. “If we are going to do it we better do it now.”

The city will use utility user tax monies to fund the repairs, which Arnold estimated will be completed in time for the swim season.

Ultimately, City Manager Doug Dunford told Mattos Newspapers, the work is essential.

“This is something that we haven’t done in some time,” he said of the repairs. “It is time to freshen the pool up to make sure that it will be good for us for a few more years. We have to do this work to continue using the pool.”