ROCHESTER, Minn. - The City of Rochester is still discussing the possibility of opening the Silver Lake swimming pool this summer.
After 62 years the Rochester Park Board says the facility is nearing the end of its useful life.
Just last fall the board recommended permanently closing the outdoor swimming pool citing a decline in attendance along with the expensive repair costs to keep the facility in operation.
However, an online petition is calling on the city to reopen the pool this year with the goal of eventually replacing it with an aquatics center.
Rochester Parks & Recreation Director Paul Widman said, “On one hand we have an aging facility that's in bad need of repair; on the other hand there's a very emotional attachment to the pool and having some type of aquatics outdoors even though participation is very low at the Silver Lake pool. There is a desire to keep those options open.”
The city council is asking the parks board for approval to set aside $50,000 to make temporary repairs to keep the pool open through the summer.
Widman explained, “We're going to do our very best to open Memorial Day or that first week in June but it's an aging structure and it's a challenge on a normal year. It's been sitting idle for a year because of COVID so there are really no promises at this point. We're going to do our very best.”
Instead of keeping Silver Lake pool as it is the city has a plan to turn this space into an interactive water feature but that could take a few years.
Widman says a decision on reopening Silver Lake is expected in a couple of weeks.