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Recent rain dilutes pool attendance

Randolph pool signBy MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

It looked like pool use at Randolph Park was going to at least be back to normal this summer, but the dreary days of August arrived and put a damper on that.

The pool season “started out looking like it was going to be back to a typical summer,” said Anthony Akers, Pulaski County’s interim assistant county administrator. We were in for a peak summer — at somewhat of a record-setting pace.”

But then August arrived, bringing rainy, dreary, cool weather and an early start to school, so those hopes were drenched.

“We’ve only been open nine days in August due to the rain,” said Akers, who has been in charge of county recreation since 2000.

Average annual pool attendance is 50,000, but that figure won’t be reached this year due to the mid-to-late-season poor weather. Last year’s weather woes dropped attendance by 20,000 visitors.

An early start to school is another factor impacting pool attendance. When schools start back, the pool closes on weekdays and is only open weekends. It closes for the season this Sunday.

Even when pool use is down, Akers said there isn’t a big impact to the budget because pool staff isn’t working.

“It’s not a huge financial loss, the service just isn’t available,” he added.

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