Source: Sherman Publications

Davis dispels pool rumors

by Trevor Keiser

October 16, 2013

It has been rumored on social media that the Oxford Twp. Parks and Rec. Dept. didn’t bid on the use of the Oxford High School’s swimming pool this year due to too many scheduling conflicts and that the district closed it to the public because they can’t afford the cost.

Parks Director Ron Davis wants to set the record straight.

First off, Davis emphasized that the relationship parks and rec. has with the school “is a great one” and they never bid on the pool because the school never charged them to use the pool.

“It just frustrates me when people try to draw a line in the sand and divide us two,” he said. “The relationship here is still good.”

When the pool was built and opened in January 2005, Davis explained that they got the pool first thing in the morning at 6 a.m. for water aerobic and scuba diving classes. In the evening parks and rec. had the pool from 3-9 p.m., which equaled around seven and half hours of programming.

As the school started putting in physical education classes (in the morning), swim (and) dive teams (at night) that window of opportunity started to shrink on hours of parks and rec. use,” he added. “It’s nobody’s fault. It’s the success of the school’s athletic teams (and) it’s a good problem to have I would say.”

While the hours of use were shrinking, Davis also said they weren’t generating enough revenue to offset the cost for parks and rec.

“For instance: if you have an open swim on a Friday night and you have three (life) guards on the deck and you’re paying them $8 to $8.50 an hour and you have two people show and pay $3 (each), eventually that’s going to catch up to you,” he said. “We can no longer continue to subsidize the programs and that’s basically what happened.”

“You can call any other community who has a (school) pool and see what kind of working relationship they have with the parks and rec. and I am sure it’s good but not as good as the one we have here,” continued Davis. “It’s hard to have a high school pool be a community pool at the same time unless you have two bodies of water like they do at Brandon or Orion.”

As far as the rumor of people being out of money because they purchased pool punch cards, Davis said that’s not true either and they’ve never turned anybody away who’s come to them with a punch card they can’t use.

“If someone shows up at my office tomorrow and they bought one from 2010 or 2011 I’m not giving them their money back. They had two years to use it,” he said. “If you bought one in 2012 I will give a credit of some sort, but I am not taking money out of the 2013 budget and giving you back money for something you bought in 2012. I’m just not going to do that. That’s not fiscally responsible.”