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Time to make a splash

Just two weeks until outdoor pool closes

August 8, 2012
Anne Blankenship ( , The Daily Freeman Journal

With less than two weeks until school starts in Webster City, area swimmers are making the most of the time they have left at the outdoor pool. The pool will close for the season on Aug. 20, the day before school is set to begin.

Kent Harfst, director of recreation and public grounds, said the summer has been busy for the pool staff.

"This has been a great summer for the pool. With all of the hot weather, it's been one of the better summers for attendance," he said.

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But when the temperatures climbed into the triple digits, Harfst said the numbers of people attending often dropped off.

"I don't know whethere they just didn't want to come out in the heat, or maybe it was because the pool deck was very hot," he said.

The one exception to that was on July 24 when RAGBRAI came to Webster City. Between 1,600 and 1,700 people visited the pool to cool off that day. Usually, with the temperatures in the upper 80s to 90s, Harfst said that anywhere from 300 to 400 swimmers might take a dip.

"I think the RAGBRAI riders were looking for a way to cool off on that hot day. Most of them just enjoyed sitting in the water," he said.

Harfst said people frequently request that the pool stay open through Labor Day, but cited the expense of staffing the pool.

"People often ask why we don't stay open, but it's City Council and Parks and Rec Commission decision," he said. "Budget wise, it's tough to stay open that extra weekend. Typically, when it gets close to school starting, the numbers tend to drop off."

A new element at the pool this summer was the curving red and white striped water slide. Harfst said the slide has been popular this summer even though it was out of commission for a time.

"There was nothing wrong with the slide," he said. To help with a pump problem in the main pool, the water slide pump was borrowed for a time.

Harfst said the curves of the slide seem top provide a bigger thrill for the sliders. The slide also features wider and less steep steps for a safe climb to the top.

"Our main goal is to provide a safe place for kids and adults," Harfst said.



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