Mingus Park Pool (copy)

A group of lap swimmers take their turn in the Mingus Park Pool on a sunny summer morning. 

The Mingus Park Pool will close for four to six weeks this summer as contractors refurbish the pool surface.

The Coos Bay City Council approved a contract Tuesday to complete the application of new plaster and surface coating to the pool’s bottom.

“The Mingus pool exterior pool tank plaster is chipped and cracked, and is in need of refurbishment,” City Public Works Director Jim Hossley told councilors Tuesday night. “The work has to take place this summer, with the work to be completed on or before August 27, 2021, in time for the Big Kahuna (Swim Meet).”

For pool users, the work will mean a four- to six-week closure of the pool as the pool is drained and the work is completed by the city’s contractor.

Coos Bay City Manager Rodger Craddock said the work and pool closure should begin during the first full week of July.

The closure could pose challenges for swimmers across the county: North Bend’s pool could remain closed for part of the summer as the city prepares reopen it following a yearlong closure and the passage of a bond measure to fund its operations.

City leaders there hope to reopen the pool in early July.

With the Mingus and North Bend pools offline for at least parts of the summer, Coos County swimmers’ only other option will be the city of Coquille’s pool, which is scheduled to be open all summer.

According to Craddock, the summer is the only feasible time for the Mingus pool closure, despite the challenges it’ll pose for use on the year’s warmest days.

“You have to be very careful of when you do pool maintenance, and removing the water from the tank from the wrong time of the year could cause the whole tank to pop up and out of the ground — and that would be our worst day,” he told the city council.

And this summer is the right one to do the work, he said.

“We’ve put this off for several years. I don’t believe its been done in more than 20, I don’t know exactly when it was done, but the pool board is asking to get this done,” Craddock told the council. “The surface of the pool is rough, and so it can cause injury if its not taken care of. Even worse though, (if we) let it deteriorate could cause us to have to replace the whole pool tank, which would be a much higher dollar amount.”

The dollar amount for the contract the council approved with Mid-America Pool Renovation, Inc., is already a bit higher than city staff had planned.

City councilors approved up to $219,750 for the project, which includes a 10% contingency, but had previously budgeted just $150,000 for the project.

The extra funds will come from delaying the purchase of a new fire chief vehicle, according to the city.

Reporter Zack Demars can be reached at worldnews3@countrymedia.net.

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