"Group discusses Valiant Pool’s fate" by: Mike Reddell

   The future of the Valiant/16th Street pool will be on city council’s meeting agenda July 28. 
   City Manager Shawna Burkhart convened a meeting Monday that drew out several options and concerns over the pool building’s poor conditions. 
   Burkhart said she called the meeting “to discuss the 16th Street pool moving forward” - to keep it operating, to make structural repairs or to close the facility. 
   The meeting included representatives of the city and BCISD, Bay City Aquacats, Wellness Matagorda and BCHS swim coach – all with different reflections on the pool, swimming and the proposed aquatics center. 
   Steel rebar inside the pool building’s concrete walls and roof is corroding, particularly in the room that houses the pump and pool chemicals. 
   The chemicals accelerate the corrosion, city officials said. 
   In 2018, the estimated cost of structural repairs was $211,000, with a more recent estimate pegged at between $300,000 and $350,000. 
   That earlier estimate was presented to the previous mayor and council and “put on a shelf. It wasn’t going to happen,” said present Mayor Robert Nelson. 
   “This is a community issue and it will take the community to fix it. We’re asking for solutions,” Nelson told the group. 
   “Bottom line, we have a problem and we need to fix it,” he added. 
   “This will take a ton of money and our goal is to make repairs and to make the pool safe again.” 
   Another alternative discussed by the group is keeping the pool going until a proposed aquatics center is funded and built. 
   The aquatics center is “something that immediately that’s not going to happen. We’ve got to get the pool fixed before someone is hurt,” Nelson said. 
   Aquacat President Andy Spencer said the swimming group’s 60 kids depend on the pool for meets and practices.  
   He asked to see the latest structural report, adding “it seems structurally sound.” 
   City Parks and Recreation Director Shaun Blackburn said, “In one degree or another, the corrosion is found in the entire building.” 

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