With summer approaching, Clarkston City Manager Keith Barker said the new pool at Milam Park will be open for business on Memorial Day weekend if all goes as planned.
Construction is now completed on the new pool, which has a capacity of approximately 400 people. Clarkston is soliciting bids for swimming pool management services and since it has no parks and recreation service, the city is looking for a company able to provide concessions and operational staff in addition to pool management.
“There’s also the issue of whether we’re going to just operate a pool, or offer programming such as swimming [lessons] and water safety certification classes as well,” Barker said. “Our idea was to contract with a company that would provide the whole suite of services.”
Barker said the city will interview contractors through mid-April and plans to have a contract finalized to bring before the Clarkston City Council on May 2.
Although the pool is completed, Barker said the city has yet to decide on a fee for residents and non-residents. However, he did say that the fee for Clarkston residents would be less than that for non-residents.
“I purposely didn’t specify a fee because my idea was for the vendor to propose a business model—I wanted to give them the ability to propose fees, hours of operation and special programs,” Barker said.
The pool, located at the front of Milam Park off Norman Road, has been closed for four years for renovation. Barker said with the reopening, coupled with the hot summer and the number of children living in the area, the city expects the pool to stay fairly crowded.
“Then couple those facts with the other improvements we plan on doing in the park,” Barker said.
The city has proposed a facelift to the park, estimated to cost approximately $300,000. Barker said he hopes to bring the park construction contract before the city council at the May 2 business meeting as well.
“We’re trying to do this without closing the park and we’re paying for the construction with funds we have on hand,” Barker said. “I would have loved to have done this over the winter but the timing didn’t work out.”
The list of proposed projects includes turning both of the park’s baseball fields into multi-use fields and replacing all of the old playground equipment with new, safer equipment. Additionally, the city plans to build new restroom facilities and install fencing along the fields to replace rusted chain-link fences.
“This work has needed to be done for quite some time so I want to strike while the iron is hot,” Barker said.
The city hopes to complete the park renovations by late July or early August.