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Work set to begin next week on new Clinton outdoor pool

Three contracts for Clinton’s new swim complex in Jaycee Park were approved by the City Council in a recent special meeting, and construction was scheduled to begin this week, City Manager Roger Houck said.

Although Houck was out of town on vacation, he said the council voted to give the contracts to the three lowest bidders in his absence, and, “They all say they’re ready to get started.”

DWR Aquatics, based in Vonore, Tenn., had the low bid on the new outdoor pool, at $573,000, and will remove the old pool and construct the new, smaller one, Houck said.

There are two other contracts -- one for a new splash pad, and another to renovate the swim complex building.

Low bidders were Thomas Hicks Construction of Clinton, $791,000, for the pool building; and Classic Pools & Spas, $278,675, for the splash pad, Houck said.

The project was divided into three separate requests for bids after the city received no bids for the entire project as one contract.

Total of the three lowest bids was $1.64 million, which was over the $1.5 million budget the city approved for the project in fall 2021, Houck said.

Because the bids were over budget, the council during its Oct. 23 meeting deferred awarding the contracts until the city could study the bids further and resolve the issue of the work coming in over budget.

Clinton was awarded a $750,000 local parks and recreation grant in fall 2021 from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for the pool project, an amount the city has to match. That prompted the council to allocate the $1.5 million.

After the bids came in over that amount, Houck said he applied to TDEC for additional money, and the city was approved for a total grant of $900,000.

“We applied on Tuesday (Oct. 31) and got approved within 48 hours,” he said. “Again, we must match that, so the other $900,000 will come from the city’s capital projects fund.”

The city has enough money in the capital budget so none of that has to be borrowed, he said.

Clinton’s outdoor pool, in Jaycee Park off Nave Street, has been closed since the end of the 2019 season. It was not reopened for 2020 in part because of leaks discovered the previous season, and because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city had chosen to keep it closed since then, pending renovations or construction of a new pool. There had even been discussion of closing the pool permanently.

Houck earlier said that after the pool closed on Labor Day 2019, regular maintenance found two leaks -- one in the plumbing and another in the lining. Together, they resulted in a loss of about 10,000 gallons of water a day.

At the time, he said the city could apply for a grant to cover the estimated $342,875 repair bill for the leaks.

Since then, however, the plan was devised to build a new, smaller pool and add a splash pad at the Jaycee Park location, using the state grant money for part of the costs.

The city also has a splash pad at Lakefront Park, which is not affected by these projects.