City pool opening Saturday

With hot and humid temperatures and crystal clear water, the Seymour Shields Park Pool is ready for the summer.

The pool will open for business at noon Saturday and city officials are hoping for a big turnout all season.

Attendance at the city pool has gradually declined over the past several years, said parks director Bob Tabeling. There are several factors to blame, but nothing within the city’s control, he added.

One of the main reasons is more families have their own private pool or access to one keeping them from using the public pool, Tabeling said.

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Another reason is youth are involved in so many activities, such as sports, that keep them busy all summer.

“The practices associated with these activities simply pull people away from the pool,” Tabeling said.

There’s also times when the pool has to close because of severe weather.

The pool is only open for 10 weeks out of the year, making it impossible to generate enough money to pay for its expense, Tabeling said.

The city spent $146,000 last summer to run the pool, including the cost of chemicals, to pay lifeguards and staff, utilities, repairs and concessions. It generated an income of $56,000, for an overall loss of $90,000.

That shortfall is made up through the parks and recreation budget which is funded by local tax revenue.

Tabeling said several changes have been made to lessen the loss. Admission costs have increased by $1 for all ages during the afternoon sessions, and the pool recently switched to a more cost-effective chemical bleach system that will save the city $5,000. The city typically spends $20,000 in pool chemicals each season.

One expense that increased this year is payroll. The parks board approved a wage increase for lifeguards because it was becoming more and more difficult to attract kids to work there for the summer, Tabeling said.

“We were competing with other employment opportunities,” he said. “After a discussion with Dave and Chris Boggs (pool managers), a proposal was sent to the board and the increase was approved.”

The rate went up $1 from $7.50 to $8.50 per hour. There are 26 lifeguards employed this year.

The pool is open through Aug. 5 for two sessions Monday through Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. and from 6:30 to 8 p.m. On Friday, Saturday and Sundays, the hours are noon to 5 p.m.

Admission is $4 for anyone six or older for the afternoon sessions and $2 for the evening sessions. Admission for children ages 3-5 is $2. Children under the age of 3 are free. Season passes are $40.

Tabeling said the pool also offers opportunities for pool parties, swim lessons for all ages, aquatic exercises, shallow water exercise, water walking and lap swimming.

Every Tuesday night from 6:30 to 8 p.m. is free swim night for families. At the end of the season, on Aug. 11, the pool will open up from 1 to 4 p.m. to allow people to bring their dogs to swim.

The pool will be closed to the public July 13-15 for the annual Seymour Summer Splash Invitational swim meet that attracts swimmers from all across the state.

Recently, Tabeling and other parks department employees visited North Vernon to learn more about its parks facilities and programs. One of the topics was North Vernon’s decision to close its city pool.

The overall expense to repair and open the North Vernon pool was too high and wasn’t a long-term solution, Tabeling said.

North Vernon is in the process of creating a new park that will include swim lanes, a splash pad and a lazy river-like feature instead of a traditional pool.

“It is my understanding funds not used this year for their pool will assist in opening their new facility,” he said.

Seymour’s pool has not had any major problems yet, Tabeling said, but if such a situation presented itself, the parks board would analyze what’s best for the community.

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What: Shields Park Pool

Where: 794 N. Park St., Seymour

When: Scheduled to open Saturday and remain open through Aug. 5. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. and 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The pool will be closed July 13 through 15 for the annual Seymour Summer Splash Invitational.

Admission: $4 in afternoon and $2 in evening for ages 6 and older and $2 any time for ages 3-5 (must wear swim diapers; available for $2 at the front desk). Life vests may be rented for $2.

Season passes: $40

Lessons: City swim lessons will be from 11 to 11:30 a.m. and 5:15 to 5:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday June 18 through 28 and July 9 through 19 (registration starts Tuesday at the pool office and runs through June 15 for the first session and July 6 for the second session; cost is $40. Private lessons (dates and times to be arranged with instructor; $12 per 20-minute lesson and $15 per 30-minute lesson); Parent-toddler lessons for children ages 2 and 3 from 5:45 to 6:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday, June 18-28; registration starts Tuesday at the pool office; cost is $40); Four levels of youth group lessons, lifeguard training and standard first aid and community CPR courses also are available.

Special features: Live radio day from 1 to 3 p.m. June 14 (door prizes, giveaways, drawings and games); Tuesday family free swim from 6:30 to 8 p.m. (admission is free when a child is accompanied by at least one parent or guardian); Three levels of competitive swimming; Pool rental for birthdays, private parties and special occasions ($100 base price plus $10 per hour per guard and $12 per hour per manager); Group rates for groups of 10 or more; Fitness program including aqua exercise, shallow water exercise, deep water exercise, water walking and lap swim.

Information: 812-523-7665 or visit the City of Seymour Facebook page or website at