Ashland does not have a city owned pool, but it does have a privately owned community pool.  For the past 30 years the Ashland Optimist Community Pool has been managed and financially subsidized by the Ashland Optimists.  When the pool was first built, the Southern Boone School District sold the land to the City of Ashland for $1, with that stipulation that should the property ever cease to operate as a pool, the land would revert back to the school district.  After the pool was built the city was unable to manage and absorb any fiscal losses, so they sold it to the Ashland Optimist Club under the same terms. 

The Optimists were financially strong with bingo at the time, so financial losses due to maintenance and repairs were paid for from within its operating budget.  But bingo has been hit by a decrease in participants over the last decade, in part due to the Boonville casino, but also a shifting in age demographics that do not view bingo as a weekly staple.  This facilitated a partnership between the Optimists and the city, in which the city would cover up to $3000 per year in which budgetary losses were experienced.  This has happened once in the past three years.  But the pool is aging, and with COVID-19 making the costs to operate far higher, the Optimists reached out to the City to requesting a committee to examine future options for the swim pool, including a complete takeover by the city now that there is a park tax in place.  

~ Find out more in today’s Journal ~

By Ernie Wren