Pool closes forever – Expanded tennis facility talked

Bethany Bounds

Bethany Bounds

After 50 years or so, the Pontotoc City swimming pool will not open this year.. or ever again. Now-a-days there are many home in-ground and above ground pools.

According to Mayor Bill Rutledge, the city pool’s revenue for the last three years has been a deficit.

“But, we’ve tried to keep the pool open because of the service.” The cost of chemicals and water needed to run the pool was more than what the facility brought in last year.

“With swimming and life saving lessons, to me, the assets outweigh the liabilities, but when it comes down to coping with replacing the drains and everything else that has to be redone, then it becomes the opposite.

“We had a price of $160,000 to fix the pool,” added Rutledge. “That’s just not reasonable.”

That kind of money could be used more wisely and Mayor Rutledge believes, “the kids around here would rather have an indoor facility where they could play ball or whatever.”

Like many others from back in the 50’s and 60’s, Rutledge remembers how important the city pool used to be.

“It’s like losing one of your old friends. It was a way of life.

“We grew up walking to the swimming pool from our homes. At 1 o’clock in the afternoon the pool would open. When the pool would close, we would walk down to Furr’s Drug Store and get a cherry Pepsi and then walk home.

“That was summer to us.”

The upside

Losing the swimming pool is indeed sad to a lot of people, but talk of expanding the tennis facility located adjacent to the pool, has many excited.

“The City of Pontotoc is open to anything that will provide some kind of recreation,” continued Mayor Rutledge.

The tennis courts belong to the City of Pontotoc and not the school, and the use of them is open to anyone, the mayor said. “If there’s a tennis association that’s willing to come in there and help do a fund-raiser, now is the time. The city is open to anything that will provide for the community.”

Pontotoc High tennis coach, Kevin Morrow said the need to find the money “that’s the bottom line.”

“We have a Pontotoc County Tennis Association that is funded through adult league fees, and the numbers are growing every year.”

Two more tennis courts would give the city an eight-court facility with rest rooms and concession stand. “That would solve that problem,” added Morrow.

Morrow is looking for people interested in supporting this idea and wouldn’t turn down any help offered.

“Oh no, and that’s what it’s going to take to have a nice complex there. I just hope the community will come together and help us do something really nice. That’s what I’d like to see.”

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