The Smithville Aldermen Monday night may consider a proposal for the city to take over operation of the municipal swimming pool and cut the rent of the golf course tenant in half.
This proposal is being offered by Mayor Taft Hendrixson, who presented it during a brief informal workshop session with members of the council Wednesday afternoon at city hall. Aldermen Cecil Burger and Tonya Sullivan were in attendance along with City Attorney Vester Parsley, Jr. and Jimmy Lewis, golf course tenant.
Lewis has the golf course and swimming pool leased until 2017 at $2,500 per month, with a five year renewal option.
Sources say Lewis has been considering giving up the lease under certain conditions. Lewis has apparently not publicly confirmed that but if he did surrender it, the city would possibly have to re-bid the lease or take over operation of both the golf course and swimming pool and hire an operator to manage them.
Mayor Hendrixson says he doesn't believe the city should get in the golf course business, but the city could assume operation and maintenance of the swimming pool as a service to the people of the city, especially the youth, and possibly reduce the admission price to swim to around a dollar per person.
Under Mayor Hendrixson's proposal, Lewis' lease would be amended allowing him to continue operating the golf course through the year 2017, but Lewis would be relieved of his responsibility for operating the swimming pool. Hendrixson proposes to cut Lewis' rent in half from $2,500 per month to $1,250 per month, but Lewis would be responsible for all upkeep and maintenance of the golf course. Mayor Hendrixson was complimentary of Lewis, saying he has taken good care of the golf course.
Hendrixson proposes that the swimming pool operation and maintenance be funded in the city's recreation budget. Costs incurred to the city would include hiring someone to manage the pool, chemicals, utilities, etc.
Mayor Hendrixson says the city could possibly hire someone for the summer, maybe a college student for example, to manage the pool, keep chemicals up to date, be responsible for making sure life guards are on duty, and whatever else is needed.
The proposal is expected to be discussed during the city council meeting Monday night. WJLE plans LIVE coverage and LIVE audio streaming at www.wjle.com.