City discusses swimming pool problems

Published 3:49 pm Thursday, May 20, 2021

‘It’s not good news,’ mayor says

The Middlesboro City Council discussed the status of the city’s swimming pool during a meeting on Tuesday.

Mayor Rick Nelson addressed the subject during his comments to the council near the end of the meeting.

“I’m going to talk about one that’s really going to cause controversy, the pool,” Nelson said. “I’m going to tell you where we’re at on the pool, it’s not good news.”

Nelson went over the recent background concerning the pool.

“Back in February, some of our council members did a walk through and what we found was a lot of damage from the winter,” Nelson said. “The ladders were pulled loose from the inside of the pool, there were a lot of cracks where there didn’t use to be cracks.”

Nelson stated they had decided to check into repair costs.

“Councilman Green (former) recommended a company,” Nelson said. “(Council member) Patsy Sullivan recommended a company…Kevin (Barnett, Middlesboro Street Department Superintendent) had two people that said they were interested.”

Nelson explained only one company has responded.

“This group here from Knoxville – we contacted them in early March, and they came up on April 6 – and we finally got an estimate from them one month later,” Nelson said.

Nelson advised the panel the company’s estimate came in at $116,000.

Nelson mentioned the city may have some people available who are able to do some of the work.

“We think we might have some expertise so that we can do some of the stuff ourselves, we just don’t know,” Nelson said.

“That’s where we’re standing right now.”

Nelson added the Knoxville company would not be able to start work for two months if they were awarded the job.

“We’re not going to be able to do that,” Nelson said. “We do need to fix it. I would like to get another estimate if we could.”

Nelson added he is surprised by the high estimate.

“I don’t want people to think we started out in December not going to do the pool,” Nelson said. “We had every intention, we set aside money. But some of these prices that they are hitting me with, I have sticker shock. We’re just going to have to try and get another estimate.”