Tuesday, December 5, 2023

For now, city may throw cold water on new pool, aquatic center


In March of last year, the city of Granbury sought public input on swimming pool amenities through a community meeting and online survey.

What did the public desire most? Cool water slides? Climbing walls? A lazy river?

The city may indeed someday place a new pool facility on the ballot for voters to decide, but it may not be anytime soon.

The proposed 2023-2024 fiscal year budget prepared by City Manager Chris Coffman and city staff includes spending $60,000 from the General Fund to refinish the existing public pool at the Dana Vollmer Swim Center, located near the City Park at 301 N. Park St.

The facility, which features a 4,280-square-feet, 196,000-gallon pool with six 75-foot swimming lanes, is aging and needs multiple repairs and upgrades.

The city’s outreach last year regarding pool amenities was in line with the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan that the City Council had adopted two years earlier.

During those discussions, the city contracted with Brinkley Sargent Wiginton Architects and Counsilman-Hunsaker to conduct an aquatic study for the Dana Vollmer facility, which is named after the former Granbury resident and competitive swimmer who is a five-time Olympic gold medalist and former world record-holder.

While the replastering fix proposed in the upcoming fiscal year budget may be disappointing to some who would love a bigger, better public pool, the city’s hardline budget preparations were done with an eye toward keeping Granbury’s property tax rates among the lowest in the region.

Those efforts did result in a proposed tax rate that is the same as this year’s, .38 cents per $100 valuation. However, since appraisals are up 15%, according to the city, homeowners will nevertheless pay more.

The Hood Central Appraisal District, not the city or other taxing entities, determines property valuations.

It is possible that the budget will be amended prior to its adoption by the City Council in September.

The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.