Mountain View City Council Considers Opening City Pool
Thu, 05/21/2020 - 9:15am admin
Thom Hoglen, contributing writer
While city swimming pools in other area communities will likely remain shuttered for the summer, the Mountain View City Council is discussing a plan to open for the coming Mountain View season. Council members discussed the possibility with department officials at the May 11 council meeting, saying strict guidelines and procedures would have to be put in place in order to maintain safety, in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Along with the usual social distancing practice of maintaining a distance of six feet between patrons of the pool, the council also addressed the need for extra sanitation practices and a maximum occupancy of approximately fifty people. With other area pools remaining closed, the council recognized that Mountain View’s pool will likely be visited by residents of neighboring communities, and stated that preference may be given to pool-goers who live in Mountain View. Proponents of reopening the pool cite the need for activity for youth in Mountain View as a driving factor in the proposal. Though no vote or official action was taken, the council is in agreement that the Mountain View pool ought to open for summer 2020.
The council also discussed changes in the employee retirement benefit program. The proposal would increase expenditures by about $100,000 a year, or roughly five percent. The council agreed to table the item until the June budget meeting, along with another consideration for retiree health insurance premiums being covered by the city’s insurance provider until the retiree reaches age 65.
The council heard concerns from multiple residents who believe that they are being incorrectly charged for utilities since the city installed new electric meters. Two business owners told the council that they saw the highest utility bills they have ever experienced. One of those business owners, who owns Chicken Lipz, said her electric bill was the highest she had seen, even though her business has been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. City officials say they will look into the concerns.
A complaint from a business owner about dumpsters behind Ron’s Restaurant was discussed briefly by the council. The dumpsters have since been moved to another location, so the council decided that the complaint has been resolved.
Several Mountain View residents voiced concerns to the council. Among the concerns was a question about repairs to a structure at Main and Elm. The contractor has yet to begin work, but a civil suit cannot be filed until the contractor is notified and the topic is placed on the council agenda. Another citizen requested stricter regulations on the handling of yard sale signs throughout the city, saying that the random placement of signs is an eyesore. The lack of a building inspector for Mountain View was brought into discussion by a handful of citizens. The council stated that while the search for a building inspector continues, the building inspector for Willow Springs may be contracted for service.
The final topic of discussion for the council, initiated by concerns from several residents in attendance, is the lack of youth activities in Mountain View. Basketball and tennis courts, as well as an area designated for cornhole were suggested, citing a grant for the city to implement at least some of these activities. A suggestion of encouraging youth to utilize the golf course was met with some opposition, citing the cost of personal equipment needed for golf not being feasible for many kids or their parents. A proposed FEMA shelter, previously voted down by the last city council, may again be looked at as a solution for youth activities while providing a community storm shelter.
The Mountain View City Council meets again June 8 at 6pm.