City to work with insurance company
By Bert Lehman
Damage caused by a fire that took place in a building at Clintonville’s outdoor swimming pool between Dec. 17-21 could prevent the pool from opening this summer.
At the Clintonville City Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12, City Administrator Chuck Kell told the council it will need to make some decisions regarding the swimming pool.
Kell said the city’s insurance company is recommending that the city hire a restoration company. The restoration company will then survey the damage and make repair recommendations. Kell added that an engineer may need to be hired because of damage to the roof structure.
“They (insurance company) will negotiate an agreement with the restoration company for a price to rebuild the facility,” Kell told the council. “Of course that’s going to mean you want to rebuild it. And that’s the question we’ll have for the council.”
Without rebuilding the building on the site, the pool can’t be opened, Kell said.
He added that even if the majority of the cost is covered by insurance, it might still require the city to have to come up with some money for repairs. He said the council will have take into account the life expectancy of the pool itself when making the decision.
Kell told the council if it decided not to make the repairs, the city would have to inform the insurance company of that decision and a settlement would probably be figured out a different way.
Justin McAuly, Parks and Recreation director, told the council the roof of the building was his biggest concern. He said the fire caused the rubber on the roof to bubble, and some of the melted rubber seeped through the seams of the joists.
McAuly said there is also cracking in the concrete in the storage room, the electrical wiring will probably need to be replaced, and a lot of the plumbing was exposed. In addition, he said a lot supplies were stored in the building, as well as the ADA lift, which was purchased in 2013 and has a value of $7,600, and the vacuum pump for the pool, which will cost $1,500 to replace. Three vending machines were also destroyed.
At the council meeting, Clintonville Fire Chief Shane Krueger said the cause of the fire had not been determined and was still under investigation.
Kell said if the council wants the pool open this summer, it would need to make a decision about the repairs soon.
“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to be ready to open,” Kell said. “If we wait too long, obviously we won’t have it done.”
Alderman Brad Rokus made a motion to proceed with the necessary steps to repair the building. The motion was seconded by Alderwoman Amy Steenbock.
Alderwoman Mary-Beth Kuester said before she makes a decision she wanted to know what the settlement would be if the building wasn’t repaired.
Alderwoman Jeannie Schley expressed concerns about the longevity of the pool.
“It’s time we just quit throwing money into a pit, and that’s what it is. Let’s just not do it,” said Alderman Jim Krause.
Rokus said the pool is a public service that the city provides its citizens.
“We have had ample opportunity over the past 10 years that I’ve been in the city to be able to make repairs on this,” Rokus said. “The amount of money that we piddled away the last two years, we could have repaired and had this pool 100 percent up and running. I believe we do owe it to our constituents to explore our options to be able to get this pool back up and running for them.”
Steenbock said when she was circulating her candidacy papers, several residents told her to save the pool.
Alderman Steve Kettenhoven said he thinks the city needs to consider all avenues to keep the pool open.
“We can’t keep taking community services away from the public and expect them to be happy,” Kettenhoven said. “We have to provide services here. We always seem to find money for other projects. We need to find money for this.”
The motion to allow the insurance company to proceed with the evaluation of the building at the pool passed 8-2. Krause and Kuester voted no.