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Unexpected expense could end Mexia's pool season

Mexia pool problem
Posted at 10:42 PM, May 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-16 22:31:12-04

MEXIA, TX  — Mexia has a bit of a "pool problem."

Over the winter, the city's swimming pool developed some serious problems that will take more money to fix than the city has.

It may force city leaders to cancel pool season, just as the heat of summer sets in.

The Mexia Public Swimming Pool sits behind a locked gate. It could stay that way throughout the long, Texas summer.

That concerns LaToya Dawkins and her family because they say the pool makes summer here bearable.

"There's not much to do in this community, so having this pool open during the summertime gives the kids in this community, something to do," she explained.

Dawkins and her family might have to find something else to do because a spring inspection by Mexia city workers found the water from the pool had leaked out over the winter.

They traced it back to a rip in the vinyl liner of the pool with a chasm underneath.

Water from the pool washed away the foundation, leaving a giant dent in the pool floor.

City manager Eric Garretty expects repairs to the floor to cost a bundle, and that's not to mention special repairs to the vinyl liner.

"And what you have to do when you do these things, there's this technique called "welding," welding the vinyl liner, and the location of the rip makes it fairly difficult," said Garretty.

He hopes to get a professional in soon to address the problems, but he admits he doesn't have the money in his budget to get the job done.

That puts him in a tough spot. He has to decide how to shorten pool season, or to have one at all.

"That's the really tough decision that we're facing right now is, can we get things done in time to open the pool this season," he said.

That's just what the Dawkins family doesn't want to hear.

"Well, we're hoping they don't close and can resolve the issue," Dawkins said.

The comfort of the Mexia community and its children rides on the cost of pool repairs. Without those repairs, they face a long, Texas summer.

The city has also had a problem hiring lifeguards for the city swimming pool. It needs 11, and only has four so far.