City pool upgrades on hold until August
The Orland Otters will use the city swimming pool this summer for their practices and events.
The City Council on Tuesday put off approval of pool upgrades until August, so the youth organization's season would not be interrupted.
If construction were to start now, there is a chance the work might not get done until July.
Otters board President Kathy Orona-Ike said such a delay would be devastating to the team as it would be halfway through swim season in July. Plus, practicing in the pools of nearby communities like Willows is impractical because many youngsters have no transportation on weekdays.
On top of that, the team's invitational in Orland is scheduled for July 12-13, she said.
Orland is considering remodeling the aging swimming pool with new gutters, a heating system, filtration system and other improvements using funds from the Parks and Recreation Impact Fee account.
City Manager Pete Carr hoped Orland Unified School District might participate in the project in exchange for student use of the pool.
Carr said an agreement with the district has yet to be completed despite a favorable reaction from the school board when he approached it in January.
He added he does not know if or when one might be reached.
Carr asked the school district to contribute $250,000 toward a pool remodeling project. The total cost is estimated at $500,000.
In exchange, Orland High School could use the swimming pool for physical education classes and high school swim tournaments.
Carr did seek bids from contractors and got one back from Holiday Pools, Inc. of Chico, he said.
The contract price was $392,000 for gutter re-construction and related equipment, Carr reported.
He asked the council to award the bid, but could not say whether the price would go up if it were not approved until August.
Carr said the contractor could not predict what the price would be in a few months as material prices are subject to change.
Councilman Jim Paschall said the high school was not in his thoughts Tuesday night, but the Otters losing a whole season was a concern.
Orona-Ike also said she is "confident" Orland High will put a swimming team together if the pool is re-done — based on conversations with a coach she knows.
However, she could not say what financial contributions the school district might or might not contribute.
Councilman Dennis Hoffman asked if the Otters was willing to take the risk of summer project completion since the city's costs could go up.
"I am a not a gambling person," Orona-Ike said, adding the organization has been rebuilt in recent years and does not want to lose swimmers.