HAZARD — Memorial Day through Labor Day is typically considered the swimming season in America, with most public pools and beaches remaining open throughout this entire period. The same was true of the Perry County Pool in previous years. So, when the Perry County Pool closed for the season early this year, many local residents wondered what the reason might be.
The Perry County Pool, located inside the Perry County Park, is maintained by the Perry County Fiscal Court. On Aug. 17, the fiscal court made the following announcement:
“Both the Perry County Pool and the miniature or “putt-putt:” golf course are now closed for the season, including weekends. Pool parties that have already been scheduled will still be held. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
At the time this announcement was delivered, plans remained intact for the Perry Proud Fun Night, sponsored by the Perry County Fiscal Court and scheduled to take place in the park on Aug. 26. The fun night featured swimming, putt-putt and a movie at dark. However, on Aug. 23 this follow-up announcement was given by the fiscal court.
“Unfortunately, we must cancel our Perry Proud Fun Night scheduled for this Friday, August 26. We’ve had different issues arise, from mistakes in booking to bad weather making the movie viewing area extremely wet to lack of staff availability to work the event. We apologize for not being able to host this event as scheduled and we do plan to organize future events that you will be able to attend with your family free of charge.”
Some members of the public have questioned if funding might have been part of the issue, with the fiscal court regularly discussing the rapid decline of the county’s budget recently, which has resulted in certain measures being taken, such as a furlough of county workers. There is expense involved with maintaining the pool, which along with payroll, also includes the chemicals needed to keep the pool sanitary, like chlorine for example. However, with this year’s particular incident budgetary issues have not been mentioned as a contributing factor by the fiscal court. According the fiscal court’s announcements, lack of workers due to the start to the school year and mistakes in booking are the only reasons given for the closing of the pool and canceling of the fun night event.
Every year, the pool remains closed from fall through summer. As of now, plans seem to be in place for a regularly scheduled opening of the facility in 2017, which should not be a problem if the issue involved staffing and booking rather than funding. Local government officials and personnel will have the off period to further develop planning.
Sam Neace can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.