It may be fall, but the North Fork Pool, Park and Recreation District board is already planning for next spring and has made recent improvements at the pool and at the Apple Valley tennis courts.
The pool and spa received a brand new coat of white paint along with some necessary surface repairs. "When people see the pool, they often think it's painted blue, but that's because the water is so clear you are seeing the reflection of the beautiful blue sky," said NFPPR executive director Lenore Cambria.
Also, the old steel sand filtration system, installed in 1995 when the pool was built, has been replaced by a new fiberglass sand filtration system. "Rust was starting to manifest, and would have started to cloud the water," said Cambria. "As well, the new filtering system is much more efficient and easy to use. The main reason this equipment has lasted as long as it has is due to the careful maintenance by Roy Cranor, our longtime pool manager."
Before filling the pool next spring, a new "green" CO2 chlorination system, and new water chemistry controllers will be installed. These systems will help balance the PH and control the water chemistry, and are designed to be more reliable, safe and efficient, which will result in lower operating costs. "The new filter and controllers really help bring us into the modern world of monitoring our water quality," said Cambria. "They will be much more user friendly as they have more automated technology not available 20 years ago."
Former executive director Esther Koontz and Cranor were the ones to lay the groundwork for the project, said Cambria. Both retired this summer after 14 and 17 years of service, respectively.
The district also recently applied pickleball lines to the tennis courts at Apple Valley Park in Paonia, which the NFPPR manages, bringing the total number of courts within the district to nine. Pickleball is a fast-growing sport, said Cambria, and the courts could be used for pickleball tournaments in the future.
In the coming year the district plans to apply for a Great Outdoors Colorado mini grant for construction of a shelter as per its 2011 master plan. The shelter, which will be located at the pool and soccer field, could have multiple uses, including picnics, class reunions and meetings. The Town of Hotchkiss has already committed up to $250 in funding and yet-to-be-determined in-kind work to the project.
A sign installed last spring at the entrance to Crossroads Park on Bulldog Street provides a cheery welcome to visitors of the pool and soccer field and was created with the assistance of Hotchkiss High School art teacher Jamie Roeber. She and several volunteer art students finished the sign in May as the school year was winding down.
Esther Koontz was instrumental in arranging this partnership. "Thanks to Ms. Roeber, our art students have displayed their work throughout our community and we are very proud of the work they have done for us," said Cambria.