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From the Desk of Commissioner Staiger

(8/1) Hello! I hope everyone's summer is going as planned and you've had an opportunity to enjoy the fantastic weather from June into July - cooler and drier than average has been nice. After our wet spring, I know I'm not complaining about the grass growing slower - although it hasn't been great for the tomatoes and peppers in the backyard… As the summer begins to wind down, though, I would like to solicit some input on how to move forward with changes or upgrades to the Emmitsburg pool.

The pool complex dates back to 1974 and has been showing its age for the last decade or so - requiring thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars in repair or maintenance almost every year. This is on top of the usual, seasonal, operating expenses for management, lifeguards, and supplies. Although fees are charged for annual memberships and day passes, they come nowhere near covering the costs of operation. This Town Council and those before have recognized the value of a municipal pool with a cost structure that allows everyone in the community to enjoy this resource. Season pass family rates are half to a third of those found at a private pool with no "bonds" or any other up front money - while day passes are only $4 for in-town, adult residents. In addition to keeping the pool up and running (mostly - but more on that later…), the Town has attempted to provide more amenities such as tables, grills, and a pavilion to make a day at the pool more enjoyable. For the first time in a few years, swim lessons were available through the current pool management company. The Town will also host discount family nights with food and entertainment on July 24 and August 7 from 7-9pm and on August 21 from 6:30 to 8:30pm. Admission is only $1 for ages 3 and up!

In spite of all these efforts, the baby pool continues to be an issue - and now seems to have finally reached a point where operation isn't possible without a complete overhaul to all the in-ground plumbing due to leaks between the filters and the pool. While the Town is investigating the cost of repairs to the existing system, we expect it to be quite high. The question then becomes: would some alternate activity for toddlers be a better choice if a large investment is to be made? Suggestions have included a separate tot lot designed for toddlers or a splash garden with mushrooms, fountains, etc. Perhaps there are more ideas out there about what could be done. Certainly, a replacement baby pool would be the most traditional course of action while each of the others has its own benefits and detractions… Regardless, we would like to come up with a worthwhile and cost effective solution! Please contact me at if you have any recommendations as we move toward the evaluation process.

Beyond the actual infrastructure, we are also trying to do a better job communicating rules and expectations as well as fielding complaints and concerns. My hope is that we can continue to maintain the Emmitsburg Pool as a safe and enjoyable activity for our community. I think the town government has found a good spot to invest its time and energy since we are able to provide this service at a subsidized cost that makes it accessible to all residents. Attendance has continued to climb over the last few years. I hope this indicates we're doing something right!

Have a great summer,
Chris Staiger

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