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After repeated patching, the aging Red Lodge pool will permanently close this summer

Posted at 3:30 PM, May 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:49:09-04

RED LODGE—The Red Lodge pool will close for good this summer after city officials said the infrastructure is failing and the city can’t afford to keep patching it.

Red Lodge Mayor Bill Larson said Thursday the city budget is tight, and to keep the pool open would cost as much as $47,000. The pool is generally open for five weeks of summer use.

In addition to that, Larson said re-patching the pool could cost an additional $10,000.

The pool is 30 years or so said Larson. He said it’s been patched for the last eight to 10 years

“Just going through the budget last year, after all the time to replace the pump and do the patching, we only had it open for five weeks,” he said.

He said now there’s a plan in place to construct a new pool through the possible approval of a parks district.

“We need to figure out a way to fund a new pool,” said Larson.

The pool is leaking anywhere from 1,200 to 1,800 gallons a day and Larson said it is beyond reasonable repair.

Still, he knows the closure will draw some disapproval.

“It’s a huge gathering spot and we all recognize that,” he said. “The public is taking it very well. Due to the age of it, it  was going to happen sooner or later.”

As for what happens next, Larson said the city embarked on a pool study and was given several options. He said the option they’re choosing is to replace the pool and rebuild a new one in the same location.

The city is looking to form a parks district which they’ll need to petition to get a ballot initiative in front of voters for November.

“We need 50 percent of those in the district to sign on and that would go onto a vote,” said Larson.