Could the pool be open soon?

A closure notice tells visitors to the Payette Public Pool about the continuing closure. City officials have announced the hire of Tiffany Weimar as recreation director, a position which will oversee pool reopening and operations as well as recreation programs across the city.

PAYETTE — After months of searching for a recreation director to reopen the Payette Public Pool and create more recreational opportunities for Payette residents, city officials have announced the selection of Tiffany Weimar as the city’s new recreation director.

“Ms. Weimar graduated from Payette High School and participated in many athletic activities,” wrote Mayor Jeff Williams in an email on Friday. “Prior to accepting this position, she served as an administrative assistant at Capitol Financial Solutions in Payette and is a personal trainer at Trifecta Gym. Recently she also spent time as the [junior varsity] softball coach for Fruitland High School. Tiffany brings experience and a proven track record of success in the Recreation/Fitness area, which will be invaluable in meeting the departmental goals and objectives.”

Williams noted that Weimar is a Payette High School graduate, and holds a degree in physical activity and health with an emphasis in exercise science. Weimar will oversee pool operations as part of her job managing recreation programs throughout the city.

No tentative reopening date for the pool was available as of press time.

Pool maintenance

During Monday’s regular meeting of the Payette City Council, several councilors expressed they were anxious to get the pool open again.

“A lot has changed since June and now, and we’ve had that pool closed for a long time. In June, we were fresh into COVID, and I did say ‘it’s gonna cost us too much money, let’s not reopen it right away,’” said Councilor Daniel Lopez. “But since then, I’ve said multiple times it doesn’t matter what it costs, let’s get it open.”

Councilor Mike Kee said he agreed with Lopez on several occasions when he initially recommended keeping the pool closed.

“There has been times it has been very appropriate to have that pool closed,” said Kee. “I still feel that, but you know… there comes a time where we should be able to figure it out and get it open.”

Lopez recommended that updates to the pool be added to the city agenda until it reopens, to which City Clerk Mary Cordova agreed.

During the meeting, the council also talked about pool maintenance, discussing the possibility of resurfacing the outdoor pool.

“You hit the bottom of your feet on places,” said Councilor Kathy Patrick.

Cordova told the council the issue in doing maintenance projects, even during a closure, comes down to money.

“We can look into doing it in the budget for it this year, but we can look into it if that’s what the council wants to do,” she said.

Councilor Ray Wickersham observed that money remains unspent because of the ongoing closure, to which Cordova said she would need to contact contractors to get updated prices.

“You can only reopen [the current budget] if you have unanticipated revenue] into the budget,” said Cordova. “You can’t just reopen it and say, ‘Oh gee, we forgot to do it this year, let’s just put some more in there.’ You can’t do that, it’s state law.”

Cordova said the unspent pool budget would not be sufficient to cover a $77,000 price tag for pool resurfacing at this time, which is what was spent on the most recent indoor pool resurfacing. The recreation budget has set aside $110,000 for lifeguards and staff for the pool.

The council also discussed a possibility in the future of replacing race lines in the pool, noting they previously voted not to do so as it was over budget.

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