Clintonville looks to study swimming pond to replace closed pool

CLINTONVILLE, Wis. (WBAY) - After a bath house fire in 2015, the Clintonville Swimming Pool was shut down and the community hasn't had a public outdoor pool since.

Now, the city is looking to do a study on a swimming pond to replace the pool, but some people are raising concerns.

Stephanie Hintz spent every summer with her kids at the Clintonville Pool and says she's frustrated it's taken years for the city to find a solution. Hintz is the founder of the "Save the Clintonville Pool" Facebook group.

"It's been way too long, and the community has made it clear that they want this pool, they want something, they want a place to swim besides the indoor pool," said Hintz.

After the 2015 fire, quotes to renovate the aging pool and its bath house were too high for the city.

"We had a concept plan done for renovating the current pool and we were looking at figures. It came out to be anywhere from $3 million to upwards of over $5 million," said Justin McAuly, Clintonville Parks and Recreation Director.

Even with no bath house renovation, the bare minimum to get the pool going was $1.5 million.

With the help of a city worker and alderman, McAuly brought forth another idea: a swimming pond with a small beach, used in communities like Kimberly.

A swimming pond would cost about $1 million, bath house included.

"This is a facility that we could have open year round and maybe have one draining per year, so you could have this open and we could have rentals there," McAuly said.

Even with only one draining per year, operational costs would still be about the same as a regular pool. McAuly says the proposed swim pond would be a one acre pond -- ten times the water surface that the former pool provided.

Even with a larger swimming area, people living in the area say they have concerns, including the cleanliness of a swimming pond.

"There are still going to be things introduced into the environment that weren't there, so they're going to have to deal with algae, issues with geese and other animals, and things that I don't know that they fully understand," Hintz added.

Hintz says she can see why the pond is a viable option and will support it if it’s the only option the city council has.

The swimming pond study will seek approval from Clintonville’s finance committee and the city council early next week. The study will cost $4,150.