Augusta leaders fight to save swimming pool

AUGUSTA, Ky. - Jackie Hopkins remembers what it was like.

"I was here Day One when it was opened … Grand Opening," the Augusta council member says.

It was the summer of 1976, and the town was crazy about its swimming pool.

"It sure pulls at the heartstrings of many people who live in Augusta," said Hopkins.

Now it's sink or swim. The pool is a cracked shell of its former self in need of complete repairs.

But Hopkins and others are determined to save it.

“It's heart wrenching,” Hopkins said. “I knew in my heart if we didn't step up to the plate and be aggressive about it, we'd lose it for good."

The long laundry list for repairs includes:

  • Rubber liner;
  • Guttering system;
  • New pump, filtering and chlorine system;
  • All new concrete decking.

 

"It's basically going to be hopefully a new pool. An old new pool,” said Mayor Wendell High.

There’s just one big problem.

Money. 

"Frustrating, very frustrating. Because you want to do what's right for the city, but since we're a very small town, our budgets just don't do $200,000 or $300,000 at a time," High said.

Bracken County Is giving the city Its recreation budget for the next 20 years - roughly $150,000 – but even that won’t cover it.

They've set up a red-basket.org page hoping to raise another $25,000.

“We got council members, city employees, everybody is working very hard to save the pool,” Hopkins said.  “It's at the top of the list."

Hopkins is hoping to see the pool return to its glory days.

"When the summer hits and it gets warm, you don't hear the children laughing. It rings through the whole town,” she said. “Hopefully that makes us work harder."

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