Devine to discuss “taking back the Swimming Pool” soon

AUGUST 11–Story updated at 6:07 pm–The City of Devine will discuss a variety of issues at their upcoming meeting, and perhaps the hottest topic will be a discussion about reopening the swimming pool. In an interview today, Fred Morales has verified that he and the other owners of the pool are ready and willing to give the pool to the city if they are willing to re-open it as a public pool.

The meeting will be held Tuesday, August 15 at 6:00 pm at Devine City Hall.

Several residents have expressed excitement over the possibility of having a public City Swimming Pool again.

“We’ll discuss it, we’ll see what happens. Yes, the city has been offered the property before, but there are so many questions that have to be answered. Like are there any liens on the property?” asked Devine Mayor Bill Herring.

Herring adds, “Remember the Hester park episode a few years ago? A family gave us that property for free, but then we got a phone call the next week from a lady saying she owned that property. That was my first week as mayor, and that took us  years to settle. So, that’s why we are a little bit hesitant to accept a gift or buy any new property.”

Resident Mary Jane Balderrama requested that this item be put on the agenda for discussion. She is one of many citizens who have expressed an interest in seeing the public pool re-opened.

Fred Morales, of Devine, verified that he and the other owners of the pool  have all agreed they would love to grant the pool to the city.

“I have visited with each of my owners and they unanimously agreed to grant the pool to the city if they will open it as a public pool,” Morales said.  “We are all taxpayers in this community, and they would all like to see it happen. We would love to give it to them.   I have gotten phone call after phone call and nothing would make me happier than seeing that pool full of kids having fun, kids learning to swim. Swimming is a life skill.”

Morales noted that a hundred people enjoyed the pool, nearly every day it was open.

Morales adds, “I know times are hard. I struggle to pay taxes, and to find room for recreation in our family budget just like everyone else. But I am a taxpayer in the City of Devine, and any  dollar the city wants to spend on recreation, I’m willing to pay my fair share, because I believe this community really needs more recreational opportunities.”

“Castroville has a public pool, Hondo has a public pool, the City of San Antonio has 30 of them. There are always a million reasons why you can’t do something, and some of those reasons may be valid, but I think  citizens in Devine feel like we need to sit down and look at the budget and figure out how to have a public pool. The city doesn’t have to go to Austin to apply for a grant to acquire the pool, just draw up the paperwork, and we will grant the  pool to the city right here. ”

At the meeting, the council will also consider the idea of appointing a Park Advisory Board for the Parks and Recreation  in the City of Devine. This would be the fourth advisory board in the city. There are currently advisory boards for the Library, Planning and Zoning, and an Airport Board.

These board members are appointed by council members.

See the agenda for more details.  Make sure you sign up to Speak during Citizens Comments portion of the meeting if you wish to voice your opinion. For questions, call Devine City Hall at (830) 663-2804.

By Kayleen Holder

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