Selma’s Dinkins Pool to undergo repairs
Published 6:45 pm Friday, June 27, 2014
The only city-owned pool in Selma, on the corner of Dexter Avenue and Division Street, may reopen for a brief period this year, if city officials can raise enough money for repairs.
The Dinkins Pool, which opens each summer for several weeks, remains closed because of health and safety concerns about its condition. After, raising several thousand dollars, Ward 8 city councilman Michael Johnson said renovations and repairs could begin soon.
“I know that we have enough money to get it done,” Johnson said. “The plan is to have it open for at least a week or two before school starts.”
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An estimate from the city’s Parks and Recreation Department said the pool would cost about $30,000 to completely renovate. The project would include sandblasting walkways, repainting the pool ‘s interior and replacing pumps.
The repair work wouldn’t include replacing the pool’s diving board.
City council members donated a total of $11,500 in oil lease funds during a Tuesday meeting. Johnson said he expects the few council members who didn’t attend to donate a few thousand dollars each. Johnson estimated that the amount of money raised so far is $20,000.
More private donations could be coming, but Johnson said he also plans to find money in the Parks and Recreation Department’s budget for repairs. The department received $13,750 for various building repairs in the city’s fiscal year 2013-2014 budget.
Johnson said the city may be able to save money on repairs by having summer workers and city employees complete portions of repair work, rather than hiring contractors.
Self-generated funds likely won’t pay for repairs, as it charges a minimal cost for public use.
Selma resident Reico Small said he was disappointed that the pool hadn’t opened yet because it was one of a few parks in the city that children can use.
“There may have been 200 people come to the pool on a good day,” Small said. “I brought my kids out here every day during the summer. It’s just something for kids to do in the summertime, so they won’t be sitting around in the house.”
Selma city government built the Dinkins swimming pool in the 1970s, with the parks and recreation department performing small maintenance each year. However, the Dinkins Pool may be one of many city-owned pools in Selma’s history.
Just before the Dinkins Pool opened, Bloch Park contained a city-owned pool that originally opened in the 1950s, but it closed after falling into a state of disrepair.
Gordon’s Antiques owner Robert Gordon also recalled a pool that existed in the early 1900s between Fourth and Fifth avenues, near Church Street. It was located just south of Elkdale Baptist Church.
Another city-owned pool reportedly existed near the Dinkins Pool’s current location. Called the Municipal Swimming Pool, historic pictures say it contained more than 900,000 gallons and looked more like a small lake.