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Claremont to Demolish Pool

Claremont — This time the vote was clear: demolish the outdoor pool in Veterans Park.

Nearly two years after the City Council thought it had agreed to tear down the pool, which has been closed since 2011, the council voted 8-0 Wednesday night to proceed with the work.

Mayor Jim Neilsen said Thursday the council instructed the administration to seek both request for proposals and request for qualifications for demolition and present them to the council so there is complete understanding as to the extent of the work, which he said will include filling in the space and putting down loam and seed.

In January, the council agreed to allow three months for someone to come forward with a viable plan to repair or rebuild the structure, which an engineering study estimated would cost in excess of $500,000. Councilors have said all along that no tax dollars should be put toward repairing the pool or building a new one. Because no plan was presented, the council voted to move forward with demolishing the John McClane Clark Outdoor Pool at Veterans Park, which was constructed in 1952.

In the spring of 2012 the council discussed demolishing it because of extensive leaks in the gutter system and a failing filter system. The March 2013 planned opening of the new community center with an eight-lane indoor pool also contributed to the discussion. No final vote on that discussion was taken and although the council put $50,000 in the 2013 budget for demolition and accepted a bid for the work in spring last year, some residents said it was worth taking another look at possibly saving the structure.

Resident Jeff Barrette, who is a county commissioner and local business owner, questioned the claim that the pool leaked 5 million gallons the last summer it was open. He led a petition drive to save the pool and the council agreed to hire a firm to evaluate the pool’s condition and estimate repair costs.