County considers bailing out Prescott pool

By on Monday, April 25th, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

WALLA WALLA – The Walla Walla County Board of Commissioners meets today (Monday) at 1:15 p.m. and will consider a proposal by the Port of Walla Walla to expend up to $125,000 from the port’s portion of the Economic Development Sales Tax Funds. The grant will be used to make repairs and improvements to the Prescott Pool.

Due to an interlocal agreement between the port and county regarding the funds, the county must approve the port expending these funds. Port commissioners approved the Prescott Joint Parks and Recreation District’s grant application on March 24.

In September 2021, the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health reported to the parks and recreation district that the pool leaks. A crack was found along the wall in the equipment room that is adjacent to the deep end of the pool. The crack has been observed for years, but during the most recent inspection, water was visibly seen pouring out along the crack and at the bottom of the crack.

“The longer this situation continues, the more erosion and loss of structural integrity will occur, and it is possible that the pool wall will eventually collapse and the consequences of it will be disastrous if there is anyone in the pool, in the equipment room, or just happens to be nearby,” Environmental Health Specialist Stacy Cutter wrote in the letter.

In October, the district began looking at other funding sources as the repairs and improvements exceed levy funds. In November, a $125,000 pool levy passed by 64 percent voter approval, but the levy is primarily an operational budget which does not include capital improvements or repairs. In December, the district applied for two grants. A month later, district commissioners prioritized a list of repairs and upgrades and in February, the Risk Management Service Agency awarded a $4,643 grant for upgrades.

“We continue to accept bids and have set dates in spring 2022 to fix the leak and complete other identified projects,” parks district Board of Commissioners Vice Chair Chris Oliver wrote in the grant application.

Fixing the leak is of highest priority, but the project will also make upgrades to the pool’s filtration and chemical delivery systems, pool lighting, bath house and pool office, plus improve access into the pool facilities, make repairs in the pump room, update some electrical safety issues, and cover a structural engineer’s assessment. All of this is estimated to cost $110,000. The Prescott Swimming Pool is the only operational pool in the Touchet River Valley serving Dayton, Waitsburg, Prescott and the surrounding areas.