Tourism thumbs up for indoor pool

The indoor Bosa swimming pool got a recommendation this week to use tourism funds to get boilers replaced allowing the hot water to return to the local facility.

A big round of applause was the reaction from swimmers as they got the thumbs up they were hoping for when it comes to funding needed to heat the water back up at Pauls Valley's indoor pool.

Although it's not official just yet the roomful of onlookers were in celebration mode after the Pauls Valley Tourism Board gave its approval to nearly $40,000 in tourism funds being used to replace a couple of boilers and water heaters at the Bosa Aquatic Center.

Many of those folks at the April 2 meeting were regulars in water fitness classes held at the pool until it closed down about three months ago.

They all perked right up with the tourism board's recommendation to approve the funding and send it on to the PV City Council.

“My heart was sad, but you didn't break it,” said one of those regulars, Jane Lawson.

“I drive 50 miles round trip to swim at the Bosa.”

A gentleman in the crowd stood up to remind tourism board members the indoor pool does serve a tourism purpose.

“When we come here to swim we buy gas, we spend our money here.”

All of this came after a group discussion on the tourism related aspects of the indoor pool.

“The problem is it's not really tourism,” said Kathy Tillery.

“We can't afford the facility, but it's something that needs to be here. I don't want it to go bad. I swam with these ladies. I get it.”

“Is it a nice thing to have, absolutely,” said fellow tourism board member Randy McGee.

“Is is a tourist thing? No.”

At the same time McGee admits tourism funds were approved a couple of years ago to get the pool's dehumidification system replaced.

Both City Manager James Frizell and aquatics director Robert Rennie III were quick to defend the importance of the pool.

“We've looked high and low at getting this fixed. We've had experts come in and look at it,” Frizell said to the board.

“We need to get the pool open. There's a lot of people who use that pool. The problem is we don't have enough money in our coffers to fix this.”

Rennie said the pool's water fitness, open swim sessions and private birthday parties do bring a lot of visitors to PV on a regular basis.

In fact, he said about three-fourths of the private parties renting the pool facility are from out of town.

“We bring in a lot of people from the surrounding communities to use the pool,” Rennie said.

“Plus it's a central training facility for the water park.”

The funding, if approved by the city council, will go to replace a large boiler for the pool and a tankless system to heat water for the facility's locker room.

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