Crystal Starts Down Path for Pool Repairs
The Crystal City Council took at step this week toward repairing the city’s aging pool.
Built in 1968, the deep-end of the pool at the Crystal Cove Aquatic Center is leaking.
As a result, the city hired two firms to develop plans to rebuild the pool.
The two contracts — one with an architecture firm and one with a pool company — total at more than $350,000.
The larger project is budgeted at $5.8 million.
“I don’t think we’re going to be that high in reality,” said John Elholm, Crystal recreation director. “This is just a budget number so that we have some room to figure out what we need to do.”
The Minnesota State Legislature allocated $2.3 million to the project. The remainder of the funding for the project is expected to come from the city.
Approximately two-thirds of the pool infrastructure and mechanics were reconstructed in 2005. The main pool container, however, has not been rebuilt.
Resident support for the project during polls conducted in 2022 was strong. In a phone survey of 400 residents, 85 percent supported repairing the pool. Meanwhile, in 365 web-based and in-person surveys, 95 percent supported repairing the pool.
Crystal Mayor Questions Pool Repair Budget in Council Feedback
Crystal Mayor Jim Adams spoke apprehensively about spending large sums of money on the project.
“To me this is a larger discussion than the pool,” Adams said. “This is a conversation about our budget and what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Crystal City Council Member John Budziszewski disagreed with Adams.
“This money is dedicated specifically for the pool,” he said. “To have a conversation where you’re trying to join the [property tax levy and the pool funding] together is inappropriate.”
“It is not inappropriate — it’s my job,” Adams responded.
Adams questioned if there was an opportunity for the council to revisit designs before they are approved.
“I’m really hoping that there’s some help to our financial situation somewhere in these numbers,” he said. “That’s my goal. It’s not to torpedo the project, it’s lets do the project in a realistic way.”
Adams also cast doubt on the need for a new lobby at the pool entrance.
Approximately $500,000 of the budget is set aside for the lobby and building façade improvements.
“I looked at the plans and I saw the designs of a nice looking lobby, a really stepped up lobby — why do we even need a lobby?” Adams said. “For a pool that’s used 10 weeks a year, I think that’s an awful lot of money to be making that architectural statement.”