Neal McKenry and Alaina Kief

Paxton Park District Recreation Director Neal McKenry and Alaina Kief of the Save the Paxton Pool committee look at some of the swimming pool equipment at Coady Park during Tuesday’s park board meeting.

PAXTON — Paxton Park District commissioners were joined by Recreation Director Neal McKenry and members of the Save the Paxton Pool committee in touring the public swimming pool at Coady Park on Tuesday to see what repairs need to be made in preparation for next summer.

One item that is on top of McKenry’s to-do list is to either repair or replace the pool’s pump. McKenry estimated the cost to range from $1,000 to $10,000.

The filter pit also needs replaced.

“The walls and floor ... are corroding and leaking water into the dry side,” McKenry said. “Eventually, the wall will just give way and drown the pump. This will most likely be the most costly repair, though we do not have exact estimates on that.”  

Six new filters will also be needed “sooner than later,” McKenry said, at a cost of around $700 apiece.

“Those three items — the pump, filter pit and filters — are what needs replaced in order for the pool to open next year,” McKenry said.  

The board also created a kind of “wish list” for other necessary repairs at the pool, including a new roof, siding, doors and ventilation in the mechanical room; a new pool vacuum and new gutters on the bathhouse; painting of the bathhouse and installing new fixtures; redoing the concession stand; the purchase of new lounge chairs; and repairs on the deck.

“More or less, just sprucing up the exterior of the buildings and updated in the interiors,” McKenry said.

Bids for the aforementioned tasks will be tracked down in the next month or two.

“These items, while nice and needed, will take a back seat to the items that are in need of repair that actually make the pool run,” McKenry said.  

Tax anticipation warrant

Also Tuesday, the park board approved a $30,000 tax anticipation warrant from The Frederick Community Bank in Paxton.

The funds will help relieve a deficit in the park district’s unrestricted fund account which resulted from a delay in receiving its first property tax installment of the year.  

“The warrant will be paid back immediately after receiving those tax funds, whenever that may be,” McKenry said.  

There were more than $10,000 in bills from July and more than $6,000 from August that could not be paid due to the delay in receiving tax money. Since July, McKenry said he had to pick and choose what bills to pay, while also taking payroll into consideration.  

“We’ve been able to meet payroll but obviously are not able to pay all of our vendors in a timely manner,” McKenry said.  

Despite not receiving its first property tax installment, McKenry stressed that the park district has not run out of money.  

“We have run out of usable money, or money that pays for monthly bills,” McKenry said. “We are not allowed to borrow from ourselves and take some of the money tied up in other accounts. Last year, we thought it was an anomaly when we waited until Aug. 16 to receive our initial (tax) disbursement, as in years prior to last year, we received it at the end of June.

“We do budget for a full year, but it’s obviously difficult waiting until late August or September, especially when we have to go 11-plus months between receiving one of our two tax installments, when summer is by far our most expensive time of year. But if this is going to be the new normal, we’ll have to adjust somehow.”    

Website improvements

The board also discussed revamping its website.

“Commissioner Jake Pietkiewicz, who has an extensive IT (information technology) background, would like to revamp the park district’s current website and create something a little more user friendly, and (the site) can also be set up to host online registration,” McKenry said. “Jake and I will be meeting in the near future to get started.”