Olin Y. Bignall pool closes with a splash
Dozens of children enjoyed what could be the last day the city of Sandy operated Olin Y. Bignall Aquatic Center on Friday, May 31, while parents watched bittersweetly.
Despite the pleas of the public, Sandy City Council voted 6-1 on Monday, March 18, to close the center as of May 31, saying the closure will be temporary while the city finds a funding source to operate the pool without putting financial strain on the city budget.
Mayor Stan Pulliam and a few other councilors worried that further operation of the pool without its needed renovations would be sinking tax dollars into parts of the facility only to have the whole system fail.
"Given the current state of the budget, I don't feel it is in the best interest of the community or their tax dollars to keep the pool open," Councilor Laurie Smallwood said at the March 18 meeting.
The city's reasoning aside, the overall feeling of the customers at the pool on Friday was one of disappointment.
"It's just sad that (the city) couldn't figure something out," said Dayna Brown.
Brown has had seven children go through the Oregon Trail School District and utilize the pool, and she ran for school board in May with hopes of being a liaison between the district and the city to help find a solution to keep the pool open. Her high school-aged son also plays on the Sandy water polo team.
"(The pool is) important to the community — for the adults and the kids," she added. "It'll be nice if (the city) can figure something out to bring it back."
Some of the people in attendance at the last open swim weren't Sandyites, including Beth and Ricky Munds. They come to Sandy from Estacada to swim because "it's one of our only options." Both expressed they "don't like" that the pool is closing.
"We come here quite a bit for recreational swim," Beth Munds said. "We grew up swimming here, too."
Regular morning swimmer Dorothy Generaux contacted The Post before the pool's closing, saying "Sadly, we are all heartbroken to say our goodbyes to our beloved pool."
As of now, the one thing that is sure is that Olin Y. Bignall Aquatic Center is closed. When it will reopen is uncertain.
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