CISCO – The fate of the Cisco city pool this summer has been discussed at the last two city council meetings. Cisco’s City Manager, Jim Baker suggested during the previous meetings that the pool should not be opened this summer. He listed two reasons for his position. First, the pool does not meet the new ADA requirements for municipal pools. There must be a ramp or a lift in order to make the pool handicap accessible. Baker said that this would cost in excess of $20,000. The city can ask for a 90 day extension and the plan is to do that. This action would get them through this summer swimming season.
The main reason for Baker’s balking at filling the pool this summer, however, is because of the lack of water. Notices were sent out this month with the water bills to explain that the city is in Stage 2 of their Drought Contingency Plan. The city entered Stage 2 last September. Watering restrictions, according to the notice, include prohibiting street washing, water hydrant flushing, filling pools, and watering golf courses. It also list a watering schedule for residents allowing two 2 hour time periods, one day a week to water.
Although neighboring towns like Eastland and Ranger received enough rain to bring their water supply level at Lake Leon within 3 ft of full, Cisco was not as fortunate. Last year at this time, Lake Cisco was just over 15′ low or 51.46% full. Today the water level shows that it has dropped to 19.03′ low or 43.09% full with no signs of improvement. During the summer the lake typically drops 2 or 3 feet due to evaporation according to Baker. He stated that his main interest is to have drinking water for Cisco residents rather than using the water to fill the pool. The city pool has a 300,000 gallon capacity. He estimated that it takes around 30,000 gallons a day in order to run the filter system and to maintain the proper water level in the pool.
Councilman Dennis Campbell expressed reluctance to close the pool knowing how many kids use it that may not be able to get to a pool in a neighboring town. Baker said that last year they closed the pool probably 10 or 12 different days because no one had shown up to swim. Mayor Maples suggested that the newer Eastland Water Park already draws many of the Cisco youth. Councilman Rick Payne agreed with Campbell and said that he had been approached by some senior citizens who rely on the pool for summer exercise. He felt that the pool represented only a small percentage of the overall daily water usage and that the pool should be opened. Councilman Jimmy Loza expressed his concern with the water level and the unknown. Not knowing if they will receive rain or how bad the fire season may be, he was in favor of forgoing filling and maintaining the pool this summer. He made a motion to not open the pool, but it died for lack of a 2nd. Councilwoman Sharon Wilcoxen wanted to make sure the citizens were notified by the city about why this is happening if the city decides not to open the pool.
The idea was brought up near the end of the meeting about the possibility of building a new pool. The city pool presently sits on Cisco ISD property. Councilman Richardson suggested that if they were going to have to spend money to update the pool, why not look into building a new pool on city property. The discussion turned to possible ways to fund such a project in the future.
The discussion will be continued at the next Cisco meeting May 7th.
Water Restrictions for all Microplex towns are listed under “Watering Schedules” at the top of MicroplexNews.com