Reflecting on BG pool season: Cool temps — and tempers


By Peter Kuebeck

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With the season officially over for the Bowling Green City Pool and Waterpark complex, the parks board on Tuesday received a brief update on how the summer went.

“It was a different summer” than last year, said Director Kristin Otley.

Otley said that the pool closed for the season on Monday. She added that cooler than usual temperatures may affect revenues at the pool.

“There were just a few days where we broke 90,” Otley said. “So I expect that revenue will be down a little bit because of that.”

She said a fuller report on the pool’s finances is expected at a later date.

Otley did note that it was a very good summer in terms of behavioral issues at the pool, which she credited, in part, to new training for the staff.

“They just felt confident to enforce the rules and show the kind of behaviors that we expect at the pool,” she said.

Otley said that a high school or young college-age pool employee, for instance, could have difficulty trying to stand up to an older pool patron.

“I think we really kind of struck a good balance in terms of what to share with our young employees ahead of time and what to give them to enable them to have confidence to do that.”

Otley was also asked by a board member to weigh in on the effectiveness of swim pants at the pool.

The year, the board approved a policy change to require reusable swim pants instead of disposable swim diapers for pool visitors who are not potty trained, a move aimed at reducing fecal incidents at the pool. Such incidents cost the pool between $750 and more than $3,600 each.

The pool was able to provide the pants to families free of charge thanks to a grant from the Bowling Green Community Foundation, and the items were also to be available for sale at the concession stand.

“I’m only aware of two incidents for the whole summer, which is down,” Otley said, noting that there are usually six or seven fecal incidents at the pool each year.

“I do think they made a difference and that the staff was really good about reminding people about that, handing it out to them.”

Also at the meeting, the board:

• Heard that the Parks and Recreation Foundation’s annual Party for the Parks event is scheduled for Sept. 22 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building at City Park. Tickets are $75 each if purchased before Sept. 8, and $85 after that date. The event will feature catering by Juniper Brewing Company and 7th Heaven Creations Bakery, wine and craft beer, a raffle and silent auction, and the presentation of the Spirit of the Foundation Award.

• Heard updates from Otley on several parks projects at City Park. She noted that new permanent cornhole boards and a new horseshoe pit have been installed, and that tables with spaces for chess and checkers are still being waited on. A sculpture in the park made from an up-cycled tree has been installed and glass panels for that artwork are expected to be ready to install around the week of Sept. 22. Further, construction on a planned shade structure at the baseball field is hoped to begin in September.

• Heard updates from Recreation Coordinator Ivan Kovacevic about summer programming numbers. Among the statistics, he noted that attendance at camps was strong, with about 87% capacity across the 25 camps offered. Swim lessons averaged 88% capacity, with 398 children participating across 39 sessions in the various levels. Noting up-and-down weather this summer, Kovacevic said that Lunch in the Park events averaged 98 lunch purchases. Two of the events had to be moved indoors due to rain.

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