Middlesboro Pool facing possible closure

Published 3:25 pm Monday, April 15, 2019

On Saturday, Middlesboro Mayor Rick Nelson announced that there is a possibility that the Middlesboro City Pool may not open for the 2019 season.

“Citizens of Middlesboro, as you know it is very expensive to run a community swimming pool,” Mayor Nelson said. “This year, we have several challenges. I will make an official announcement next week, but it does not look real good to open the pool for the 2019 season.”

Mayor Nelson shared a list of needs that the City of Middlesboro is facing and the cost that it will take to meet those needs.

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• Seven police officers short – $40,000 needed;

• Three firefighters/EMT’s short – $21,000 needed;

• Five police cars – $185,000 needed;

• Two ambulances – $340,000 needed;

• One backhoe – $120,000 needed;

• Two dump trucks – $160,000 needed;

Total need of: $1.5 million dollars.

Mayor Nelson also states there is an unknown increase in pension and health care costs.

“Whether you like this or not, it is what we are facing moving forward,” he said.

Shortly after Nelson released the information, citizens of Middlesboro got to work.

Nina Shoemaker took to social media to set the wheels into motion on how the community can “Save the Pool.”

“As most on here know, our city pool is in jeopardy of closing,” Shoemaker said. “We all know this is a vital part of our youth’s summer.”

Shoemaker pointed out that most children don’t get or have the opportunity for a vacation during the summer in Bell County.

“This pool is all they have,” she said. “We need to pull together and save our pool. Anyone interested please reach out to me.”

Other community members jumped on board and began researching various grants and other avenues to procure money to save the pool.

Mayor Nelson is encouraging citizens to come to the Middlesboro City Council meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Council Chamber of Middlesboro City Hall to express your concerns and interest in the Middlesboro Pool situation.