Winfield dives into planning for new pool

By Gretchen Teske, Mt. Pleasant News


Applause erupted throughout the Winfield City Council last night as Mayor Chris Finnell announced the city received a $250,000 Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grant, which will go toward funding the new aquatic center, the Rick Rodgers Community Pool. This marks the last of Winfield?s fundraising efforts as their pool is now fully funded.

The new center will feature zero-depth entry, toddler play structure, drop slide, diving board, lap swim area, umbrellas, chair lift and a new bathhouse. The $1,175,088 project has been in the works for quite a while and the city is happy to see its success coming to the surface. ?We definitely want to thank everyone that contributed in many different ways,? said Finnell. ?I?m real proud of our community and it shows that they?re backing our community and our town and they want to see us continue.?

Architectural meetings are set to take place next week and be completed by Don Paddock of Paddock Enterprises of Oklahoma City, Okla. Paddock?s father and grandfather built the existing pool for Winfield.

In regards to the existing pool, cleaning and draining of the water will take place in the coming week. Public Works Director, Chad Venghaus, stated the chemicals had been ordered and the council decided on a tentative June 1 opening date. Four life guards will be returning from last year and four additional guards will be hired at the beginning of the season.

The council also discussed closing the pool after Crooked Creek Days in August, in order to begin progress on the new pool. This was met with pushback as some council members did not feel that would allow enough time for families to use the facility. The conversation was tabled and no decision was made.

Sprucing up their town was a theme at last night?s meeting as City Clerk Angie Oepping brought up the topic of banners for Locust St. The town currently has snowflake banners adorning their light poles. She proposed looking into buying four new banners for each of the 12 poles, resulting in 48 new banners. The banners would follow a theme for each of the four seasons. The banners can run a range of $70-100 depending on materials.

The council decided to contact the Mt. Pleasant Chamber Alliance for financial assistance. If none is granted, Finnell gave Oepping a budget of $4,800 to purchase as many new banners as possible. ?Use your best judgment,? he advised.

The city is also taking a look at fixing their sewer system. A public hearing to approve the sewer revenue loan and disbursement agreement will take place Wednesday, June 13, at 5 p.m. in city hall.

New sewer and water rates have been officially established. Sewer rates will run $20 for the first 3,000 gallons and $5.50 up from $4.50, per thousand after that. Water rates will run $17 for the first thousand gallons then $5.50, up from $4.50, per thousand gallons after. The minimum charge each month will rise from $15.50 to $17 a month.

Talk of rampant animals caused a splash at last night?s meeting as Officer Jeff Dietrich noted he had been bit by a dog running loose in the community. Two dogs were confiscated from their property, at the owner?s request, and put down. The behavior goes against the city?s animal ordinance as they were dangerous and threatening to the neighborhood.

Finnell noted this is becoming more of a nuisance and proposed looking into proper equipment for animal control. ?We have got to protect our officers,? he said. Currently the city only has a snare pole but Finnell would like to look into gloves or other safety equipment. The conversation did not progress further and the issue was tabled.

The next meeting of the Winfield City Council will be on Wednesday, June 13, at 5 p.m. in city hall.