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Parks board continues to talk about opening of county pools

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By The Staff

    SHEPHERDSVILLE - Before moving on to the bigger questions, members of the Bullitt County Parks Board spent some time talking about this summer’s pool plans.

    Just two days after Bullitt Fiscal Court agreed to the board’s recommendation to have the Bullitt County YMCA manage the three swimming pools, the agency was back to the drawing board on Thursday.

    June Daugherty, executive director of the Bullitt County YMCA and coordinator of the pool management, said work on the Bullitt Central facility was progressing.

    She didn’t know of any reason the pools at Bullitt Central, Maryville Elementary and Mount Washington shouldn’t open on May 29.

    The plans are to open the pools seven days a week from noon until 6 p.m. to the public. Time before and after the operational hours would be used for day cares, the YMCA and pool parties.

    When school opens in August, Daugherty said pool hours might need to be altered.

    Currently, she is looking to hire pool managers and lifeguards.

    A major point of discussion centered on admission prices and season passes.

    Daugherty had hoped to charge $3 per day and then have a summer pass for $100 for an individual and $150 for a family. The summer pass fees would be paid upfront.

    However, assistant parks director Ed Etherton was concerned about attendance if the coupon books were not available. He said many of the pool patrons wouldn’t have the money upfront to pay for the season pass, although it was a tremendous savings.

    The coupon prices were $2 each for a book of 10. Etherton said very few people paid cash for a single admission ticket at the gate. Most used the coupons.

    Board member Steve Thompson inquired whether the YMCA could offer both the swim coupons and the season pass.

    Daugherty said that wouldn’t be a problem. She was just trying to avoid having a lot of cash payments at the gate each day.

    Etherton said the YMCA should be able to have a lot of pool parties. He said that was popular each summer at the county pools.

    Daugherty said her goal was to make the pools family friendly. That would include investing in picnic tables, umbrellas and lounge chairs. The diving boards would be removed from the pools but some tubes would be added to the Bullitt Central facility.

    Since the YMCA proposal was to take over management of the entire parks program and the board’s proposal was for only the pools to be included for this season only, fiscal court agreed to fund up to $45,000 this summer to cover any losses suffered.

    To consider the bigger picture, board chair Steve Larimore said county treasurer Kenann Bradley was working on getting him some financial information from the past two years.

    He said the numbers must be studied to make sure they accurately portray the revenue and expenses of the pools.

    Before a decision is made on the management proposal, Larimore said the financial numbers must be closely studied.

    He would also like to hold another public meeting at night to get input.

    However, board member Bernie Brown said that shouldn’t be done until there is a plan to present to the public.

    Larimore wanted to have some decision on the future before work gears up on the next basketball season in August.

    Board member Kevin Ezell said there is a lot of interest in the future of the basketball program, especially in his area. He estimated that 60 percent of the basketball players come from the Mount Washington area.

    The only other discussion centered on a personnel issue.

    Larimore said the board considered Etherton as the acting parks director. Supervisor Kendall Grant is off work due to medical reasons.

    There had been some conflict between Etherton and county judge Melanie Roberts at a recent parks meeting.

    Larimore said the board would be the place Etherton should turn if he was having any problems.

    “We’re the guys you need to come to to fight your battles,” said Larimore.

    The goal of the parks board would be to help Etherton in any way possible accomplish his tasks as director. That includes making sure there is some why to have phone calls transferred to the judge’s office when he is out working at the fields.

    The next meeting of the Bullitt County Parks Board will be on Thursday, May 20, at 4 p.m. at the board of education office. The public is invited.