Archive for Thursday, November 10, 2005

Swimming pool, reading net action by council

November 10, 2005

It was a mixture of swimming pool and preschool reading program for the only action items for the Baldwin City Council Monday.

The council approved spending around $81,000 for additional surfacing of the Baldwin City Municipal Pool with PebbleTec and approved a proclamation declaring Monday through Nov. 20 as Children's Book Week. There will be local efforts involved with the book week through the Baldwin City Public Library.

Portions of the pool were surfaced with PebbleTec in 2004. The special surface aids in traction, as well as protection of the pool. There were problems with the surface last year and the company stood by its five-year warranty. In evaluating the surface and the need for the entire pool to be painted, it was suggested that most of the pool be resurfaced with the PebbleTec, which last longer than regular paint.

"The PebbleTec people have been in town a couple of times and have seen what they need to do to meet the warranty," said City Administrator Jeff Dingman. "The problems came during preparation and they know what they have to do to fix it. They admitted taking short cuts to get it done in time. They are coming back to fix it, redo it."

That's when the discussion turned to using the same surface and company again for the bigger project.

"We're comfortable using them again?" said Council President Amy Cleavinger.

Utility Director Bill Winegar said he'd researched other places where the surface had been used and was satisfied that the problem experienced here wasn't the surface itself, but the preparation before it was used. He also noted that it would be cheaper in the long run to use the surface for most of the pool, rather than parts of it and that would make a difference.

"We're going to watch real close on this," said Winegar. "I think it will make a difference to do the whole pool instead of just some spots. This will come up the sides."

The money for the project will come from the Public Building Commission, which was created in the mid 1990s to disburse sales tax money dedicated to building the pool. It is a separate entity from the city.

"This is an extension of the construction phase," said Dingman. "I checked with bond counsel and they're comfortable with it. It's the original intent of the sales tax."

As for the preschool reading program, the proclamation puts Baldwin in line with the state-wide effort called "Kansas Reads ... to Preschoolers," a project of the Kansas State Library to highlight the importance of reading to children as well as to promote the library as a renewable resource of reading material.

The goal of the program is to see to it that all 226,453 children between the ages of 0 to 5 years are ready to during National Children's Book Week. The Baldwin library will have story-teller Becky McMillan going to various locations. The city is behind that effort.

"I think this is important," said Council Member Tony Brown. "This is a big deal. The city council enthusiastically endorses this. This is really important for the community. We are really excited about this and want to help out in any way possible."

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