By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: July 26, 2019 | 3:15 p.m.
Supervisors express apprehension after pool didn’t open last year despite funding
In an unusual move, the Sussex County BOS amended their agenda following a closed session meeting at the end of the regular July meeting. The purpose was to make a determination about $10,000 in funds requested for repairs needed in order for the Waverly Swimming Pool to open for the 2019 Summer Season.
During the citizen comments period earlier in the meeting, William Ricks, Executive Director of the Sussex County Youth and Adult Recreation Association, which owns the pool, had asked about $10,000 the group had requested in a previous meeting to help with repairs to open the pool this summer. When it was again brought up during the break between the regular meeting and the closed session, the board decided to make the amendment to the agenda to add the discussion of funding for the Waverly Pool because of a time issue. That decision was based on there being no scheduled August meeting, which meant that any funds not made available until the September meeting would be too late to allow for their use to salvage any of the 2019 pool season.
A great deal of discussion followed. There was concern expressed about the group’s having accepted $6,000 last year for the pool, but then it was never opened. Board Member Eric Fly expressed concern that the numbers would not work. He said that using the figure provided by Williams that their contractor estimated $38,000 in repairs would be needed to open the pool, when balanced against a $2,500 pledge from the town of Waverly, the $10,000 being requested from the Board of Supervisors, and the $15,000 the group indicated that they had on hand in monies and pledges, the group would still be far short of having enough to open the pool. Williams said that volunteer work was being done to reduce the amount of funding needed.
It was also brought up that with the contractor being out of town and having to order parts needed when he returned, it appeared that the pool only would be able to open for a few weeks at most before Labor Day when the pool generally would close. Williams countered by saying they would remain open later. Fly proposed a couple of disbursement options, one being that the funds be handled on a reimbursement basis as bills were presented, rather than turning over the entire $10,000 at once.
Finally, the board voted 5-1 to give the entire $10,000 in advance to the group, with which they said that they definitely would open the pool this summer.
When asked for clarification after the meeting, Chairman Seward reiterated that last year, the group took the $6,000 in county funds for the pool but never opened. She indicated that some of that money was still in the account, some of the money has been spent, and the group turned in financial documentation that the board asked for.
“My vote was given with some reservation,” she added. “If that pool does not open this summer, if they come to me for my vote on the Board of Supervisors, they will never get another penny out of me.”