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Monday, March 4, 2024

Get Wet

In his annual address to the Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana, Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel acknowledged the city was facing what he called “some tough decisions” about how and where to spend city funds. Among those decisions were the antiquated neighborhood pools: Tepe, Howell, Anthony Oates, Garvin, Helfrich, and Lorraine. “What happens to them in the future will have a huge impact on our quality of life,” Weinzapfel said at the chamber breakfast on Oct. 24, 2007. That impact, Weinzapfel contended, would occur after the city’s business community worked with him “to create an Evansville that future generations will be excited to call home.”

Weinzapfel’s words came after Tepe and Howell pools were closed in 2006 due to their poor condition. (Tepe leaked more than 706,000 gallons monthly.) The pools sat closed for three years as local leaders tossed around ideas. Weinzapfel appointed an aquatics task force, a group of business leaders charged to find the best spots for two new regional pools. 2010 marks the first full summer the new pools, one on the West Side at Howell Park and a second on the South Side at Bellemeade Park, will make a splash.

The city allotted $5.8 million in 2008 for the construction of those new, identical pools — $2.9 million each — featuring a 150-foot waterslide, eight swimming lanes, and a zero-depth beach entry. The former locations closed due to outdated technology, but these pools were built with the future in mind. For example, each pool has an ultraviolet disinfection system — a means to clear micro-organisms that are difficult or impossible to destroy with chemicals. “I am pleased we are incorporating state-of-the-art technology in these new pools,” said Weinzapfel at the 2008 groundbreaking, “which is more environmentally friendly.” The pool technology works to make swimming facilities healthy environments, giving citizens another reason to relax poolside.

For more information on the city’s pools, visit www.evansvillegov.org.

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