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OID Approves Money For City Pool
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The City of Oakdale’s swimming pool is going to be open for the summer. The Oakdale Irrigation District’s Board of Directors approved in a 4-1 vote to give the city $71,500 for the Parks and Recreation Public Swim, Water Safety, and Water Conservation programs. Director Herman Doornenbal was the dissenting vote.

Danelle Stylos, the city’s planning director who oversees the pool operations, reported to the board that the city will keep the pool open from June through the end of September. In August and September, the pool will only be open on Saturdays and Sundays. Stylos added that to keep the pool open through September, the total operational cost rose to $78,000, including staffing, but the amount requested from OID remained the same.

She had delivered a presentation to the OID board at the May 3 regular meeting in a discussion item asking for the funding to keep the pool open. At that meeting, she said it was initially planned that the city would close the pool at the end of July. That raised questions and concerns from the directors who desire to keep Oakdale residents out of canals and the river.

Doornenbal had moved to fund the city with $53,500 for the public swim program, eliminating the additional $18,000 the city requested for water safety and conservation programs because he felt they could be easily incorporated into the public swim program. The motion failed for lack of a second. Directors Jack Alpers and Frank Clark said they felt the city was doing a good job of cutting back on expenses and the request was less than last year.

OID General Manager Steve Knell commented that he sees the contribution to the city’s pool program as a “backfilling” of staff time and considers it fair and equitable, as the district does not have an in-house public relations staffer to disseminate the district’s philosophies on water safety and water conservation.

The money will be available between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. It’s estimated that two-thirds ($47,700) would be spent in 2011 and the remainder ($23,800) charged to the 2012 OID budget.

In other business, the board also unanimously approved a donation to the Oakdale Joint Unified School District’s Salmon Studies program not to exceed $2,500. The program is in its 10th year and is for fourth graders district-wide. Director Alpers said the amount figures out to be approximately $10 per student.

Also in other business, in a 4-1 vote the board approved a funding request of $2,500 by the Oakdale Community Garden Club. Director Al Bairos was the dissenting vote.

The garden club maintains the large downtown flowerpots and five downtown medians. A garden club representative reported to the board that the club took over the care of the medians with a one-time $1,000 payment from the city and because the city had inadequate staff to care for them. He said the club planted gorilla grass ground cover in the medians to help prevent water evaporation and to help keep the weeds at bay when questioned by Bairos about what they did for water conservation. Bairos also questioned if the medians were irrigated with a drip system. The club representative said they were on a sprinkler system on timers and the plants were primarily water-saving plants.