Extract from Village Life February 27, 2008
Published by Life Newspapers LLC, a member of the McNaughton newspaper family.
The little used Oak Knoll swimming pool doesn't seem to have enough going for it. Attendance has dwindled in the last several summers, and the pool's open hours have been cut back accordingly. Usage bottomed out at 297 people during the summer of 2007, generating only $594, far less than the cost of operating the pool.
The Community Service District Planning Department has recommended that the pool be closed permanently, and that a better use be found for Oak Knoll Park, the boulder and oak studded 2.6 acre parcel located in the Hills of El Dorado subdivision off Bass Lake Road.
Park amenities include the small swimming pool, a clubhouse, turf, picnic areas, parking lot and playground. It was built in 1996 and is maintained through a Landscape and Lighting Assessment District.
The pool is not heated, and is only four feet deep at the sides, and six feet deep at the center. It's adequate for general recreation and swim lessons, but too small for lap swimming, swim team practice, water aerobics and many other popular aquatic activities.
Bass Lake neighborhood activist Hal Erpebeck recognizes that the pool is underutilized, but feels the meager open-hours have pushed usage down. "Considering that last year the pool was only open three days a week for three hours per day, and that the pool is not heated, it's little wonder that the pool doesn't get much use," he said.
In 2007, the pool was open from June 5 to Aug. 11 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The CSD staff report indicates that the pool lost $1,506 plus unspecified pool maintenance expenses.
They'd like to start from scratch, shut the pool down and seek community input on a new master plan to provide facilities and park amenities that can be better utilized.
Area residents recently rejected all proposed alternate uses for the pool's club house, including a satellite teen center.
Erpebeck claims that the assessment paid by neighborhood residents more than makes up for the red ink generated by the little pool, and wants to see the hours expanded in 2008. In an email to Village Life he stated "The park, club house, and pool were all built by the developer, with funds for the maintenance and operation of the park more than covered by the $105,325 in lighting and landscape fees collected in the 2007-2008 fiscal year from the residents of two villages that Oak Knoll serves."
Furthermore, he contends that "the Bass Lake area is already underserved in terms of parks. Closing the pool will simply make a bad situation worse."
The disposition of Oak Knoll Park and pool was discussed in the monthly CSD Parks and Planning Committee meeting held on Tuesday, Feb. 26, too late for publication.
The park can be accessed from Alyssum Circle or Mendocino Way in the Hills of El Dorado subdivision, off Magnolia Hills Drive, east of Bass Lake Road in eastern El Dorado Hills.
By Mike Roberts, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Extracted/transcribed by Bass Lake Action Committee