Trenton Park Board addresses aquatic center issues

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The Trenton Family Aquatic Center was discussed at the Trenton Park Board meeting on December 6.

No action was taken due to the absence of a quorum. Park Board members in attendance were President Curtis Crawford, Vice President Andy Cox, Gary Schuett, Derek Miller, and John Hamilton.

Cox mentioned that the search for a pool manager should commence soon, highlighting that the usual advertising avenues include area schools, North Central Missouri College, and social media posts.

Crawford pointed out the necessity of general pool maintenance, observing that it had been several years since the pool was last painted and that concrete work was also needed.

He expressed a desire for Park Superintendent David Shockley to solicit maintenance work bids, but the lack of a quorum prevented the board from voting on this matter.

Crawford indicated that the maintenance work might be a project for fall 2024, depending on the associated costs.

The pool, reportedly about 20 years old, will be a topic of discussion at the next Park Board meeting, as per Crawford’s plans.

Trenton resident Ronda Lickteig inquired about the board’s budgeting process for the pool. Crawford explained that the board evaluates the required staff and attempts to balance the anticipated revenue with the staffing expenses.

Shockley reported that the pool generated approximately $60,000 in revenue this year.

Lickteig raised concerns about the frequent early closures of the Trenton Family Aquatic Center, often due to low attendance of fewer than 20 people. She argued that while weather can be anticipated, unpredictable closures are inconvenient for residents who pay property and sales taxes for the pool, in addition to entry fees. She emphasized that the pool should maximize its operational hours.

Crawford concurred, mentioning recent adjustments to the policy regarding early closures due to low attendance. He acknowledged the challenges faced by parents who have to pick up their children earlier than expected.

Lickteig observed a decrease in early closures this summer compared to the previous year. She expressed her admiration for the pool and questioned the reasons behind the low attendance, seeking ideas to attract more visitors.

Crawford acknowledged the difficulty in recruiting lifeguards in recent years, a challenge mirrored in other employment sectors. He also mentioned past discipline issues at the pool, which he believed had been resolved.

Addressing the alternative of the Chillicothe pool, Lickteig noted its higher cost and the inconvenience of travel.

Crawford agreed to reevaluate the policy on early pool closures due to low attendance, considering adjustments or possible elimination of the policy.

In the Grounds Committee report, Hamilton suggested considering a rent increase for the Rock Barn and Moberly Park enclosed shelter in the next budget, based on Shockley’s report of high usage.

Shockley’s report included the winterization of all park bathrooms, the completion of concrete work in front of the park maintenance building to reduce winter mud, and snow removal at various locations. He also reported repairs on snowplow equipment and maintenance of other park equipment, including mowers, a tractor, trucks, and all-terrain vehicles.

The Park Department is pruning the burning bushes behind the park shop, following successful results from last year’s efforts.

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