After being publicly antagonized and even more passionately defended, with its fate hanging precariously in the balance at one point in time, the New Carlisle Swimming Pool has survived the rough waters of the past year to open once again for another season.

New Carlisle Mike Lowrey and his family, as well as some friends, neighbors, and fellow councilmen spent the better part of this weekend at the pool repainting the buildings and performing some other preparatory maintenance, as it is set to open in less than two weeks. Using money raised from the pool’s Go Fund Me fundraising initiative, Lowrey purchased gallons of crisp blue and white paint for the exterior of the buildings, as well as more than two dozen new pool lounge chairs, which he said visitors have been requesting. Lowrey said he was grateful for the “overwhelming” financial support shown by the community for the preservation of the pool, both through the Go Fund Me page and the amount of checks sent directly to the city written specifically for pool use. The Go Fund Me site raised around $2,300, Lowrey said, which was designated for paint, bathroom lighting, and general upkeep, and with the added personal checks, he noted that the community has donated well over $3,000 altogether.

He added that after much pool discussion was generated on social media and in-person, he noticed a common thread of New Carlisle residents being in favor of keeping the pool as a community asset.

“I think the community overwhelmingly supports the pool,” said Lowrey. “I think almost every citizen in this town wants it.”

Because the issue of keeping the pool open became such a topic of debate amongst councilmen in recent months before going to a vote, Lowrey said it was nice to see most of his fellow councilmen at the pool this weekend to help with the upkeep, especially those who voted against keeping it open this year.

Councilman Bill Lindsey was one of two New Carlisle City Councilmen who voted against opening the pool for the 2016 season, however, Lindsey showed up Saturday morning to help Lowrey with painting. Lindsey said his position on the pool remains the same in that the city cannot afford to continue financing it if it doesn’t become profitable, however, he said he made a promise to Lowrey that he would help in any way he could if it opened this year.

“The pool is going to be open—and since it’s going to be open anyway, we might as well make it as presentable as we can,” said Lindsey. “But, if the pool doesn’t make money, I’ll keep the same stance that the city can’t afford to keep it open.”

Lowrey thanked Lindsey and Councilman John Krabacher, who both came to help paint this weekend, as well as Councilmen Bill McIntire and Lowell McGlothin, who contributed financially to the repairs. He said it was a good feeling to see Lindsey contributing despite his no vote.

“It was good...and just like he said, even though he was against it because of lost money, it’s open now, and that’s awesome that he wanted to lend a helping hand,” Lowrey said of Lindsey

To help the pool become as profitable as possible, Lowrey said managers will maintain a “skeleton crew” at the gate and concessions stand in order to keep staffing costs down, but lifeguards will still be employed as needed.

As far as special events go this year, Lowrey said they’ve already planned a “full-blown cannonball contest with first, second, and third-place trophies,” though the date for that event is still up in the air. He said they’re also considering a family cookout night and a Fourth of July celebration with “field day” kinds of games and activities as well.

The pool will officially open on Saturday, May 28 at 12 noon, and regular hours until July 31 will be: Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday from noon to 7 p.m.; and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. From August 1 through August 16, the pool will be closing one hour earlier than the previous schedule, and close for good after August 16, as school will be back in session and inherently not as profitable when kids are in class. Daily admission rates are $5 per student (age 5-17) and senior citizens (age 65 and up), and $6 for adults. Season passes can also be purchased.

Lowrey said New Carlisle’s “overwhelmingly generous” response to supporting such a community-minded amenity has blown him away, noting that each and every contribution, be it financial or physical, adds to the quality of the pool’s offerings.

He also thanked Kathy Marshall from the city offices for bringing them hot pizza on Saturday afternoon as they fought through the cold rain to start painting, as well as his wife April, his parents Rick and Karen, Justin Welch, Carey Lightner, and Bruce Weneck for helping with the repairs this weekend.

“Jim Bobo sent $300 to the city last week, and I talked to Dan McFadden—he said he wants to help too—it’s just incredible, the amount of people who truly want to help,” said Lowrey, who noted that the donations are secured in a city account, and are being used for new paint, bathroom lighting, general outdoor upkeep, and the 32 new lounge chairs that Lowrey purchased from a Columbus country club for less than one-third of the retail price.

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