Commissioners meet, discuss pool repairs

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Among several items on Monday's agenda was a proposal to get the Comanche Springs swimming pool fixed and filled for the busy summer season. Unfortunately, dippers will have to find another hole to jump in, for repairs will render the pool out-of-order for 2018.

County Judge Joe Shuster addressed commissioners about the process to proceed on repairs. The pool is a pier-and-beam structure, with underground springs bubbling up to the deck that needs repair. Work can only be done when the springs naturally decrease, he said.

“It's a big job,” Shuster said. It was estimated that repairs were last conducted on the pool in about 1986-87.

The springs began flowing in December and are expected to continue through March, Shuster explained. After that, another 40 days will be needed for water under the pool to subside, and work could begin by May. Optimistically, the project could be completed by September or October and the pool ready for the 2019 summer season.

Shuster said that a fee proposal was submitted to the county last week by engineering firm Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE) out of Irving outlining their idea to create a design for repairs. The work will focus on the elevated concrete pool deck at the north end of the pool. WJE conducted a site visit last year and issued sketched for interim repairs, but were scuttled when the springs began to flow.

The engineers propose to develop a repair design to strengthen the structure supporting the distressed portion of the concrete deck and restore it to an elevation acceptable to the commissioners. The total design work will cost the county $30,000 including contingency fees for any unknown conditions that may arise.

The judge made sure to stress that this was just a design for repairs and that bids for construction will be sent out after this phase is complete. He said that commissioners will have to put this as an emergency expense and later draw the full funds for the design and repairs out of the fund balance all at once.

“The big bill is going to be construction,” Shuster said. “I just don't know (the final dollar amount.) I hate to even figure.”

The motion to accept the bid for the design phase was made by Precinct 2 Commissioner Lupe Dominguez and was seconded by Precinct 4 Commissioner Santiago Cantu, Jr. The motion passed unanimously.

In other news, commissioners:

• Heard a report from County Extension Agent Karan Heffelfinger regarding National Nutrition Month. She said that this year's theme is “Go Further with Food” and looks to offer healthier eating alternatives, especially for those with diabetes. The office will host a “Healthy Cooking School” on March 24 with participants receiving a cook book and appetizer.

• Agreed to an interlocal services agreement with the City of Fort Stockton for $220,000 as obligation for share in emergency medical service expenditures.

• Agreed to renew the interlocal services agreement with the City of Fort Stockton for $80,000 for share of fire department expenditures.

• Awarded a bid for the Pecos County Master Parks Plan to Grantworks in the amount of $18,000, which will be paid by the Economic Development Corporation.

• Received a predator control report from USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services for aerial hunting. The report listed 41 coyotes, 36 feral hogs, and two bobcats killed in January.

• Accepted a donation from Mary Heil in the amount of $50 to purchase books for the Iraan Public Library in memory of Ted McCloskey.

• Accepted a donation of four grey vinyl armless chairs from the Lilah Smith Shelter Crisis Center to the Pecos County Attorney's Office.

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