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City of Edwardsville says it will no longer operate SIUE pool

University says it is open to further discussions

The Edwardsville City Council voted Tuesday to terminate the lease agreement with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for use of the campus’ outdoor swimming pool.

“We are looking forward to new opportunities and partnerships to bring aquatic recreation to our residents,” said Parks and Recreation Director Nate Tingley. The City of Edwardsville and the Edwardsville YMCA are currently in discussions to provide City of Edwardsville residents with some aquatic opportunities to address water safety.

In 2016, SIUE approached the City and proposed a lease arrangement whereby the City would operate Cougar Lake Pool and thus provide a public swimming pool for use by the residents of Edwardsville. The City entered into a lease agreement with SIUE to lease the Cougar Lake Pool, located at 80 Recreational Road on the campus of SIUE. The lease included use of the outdoor pool, pool building, pump house, parking lot, and access road. The lease agreement assigned all maintenance costs to the City and stipulated that SIUE students were allowed access to the pool at no charge.

The City of Edwardsville entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the Village of Glen Carbon to allow for their residents access to the pool in 2016 and to share all costs of operating and maintaining the property and any profits on a per capita population basis based upon the latest U.S. Census population counts at the time (City – 26,631/67.3 percent; Village – 12,934/32.7 percent). Since 2016 the city has completed repairs to the pool reaching nearly $90,000, including repairs to the pump, filter, and repairing leaks.

“Given the increasing cost to repair and maintain aging infrastructure of the facility, the City Council and Village of Glen Carbon has chosen to terminate the lease agreement with SIUE,” said Tingley. “We wish to express our gratitude to the Village of Glen Carbon and SIUE for their partnership in offering a public swimming pool for the use of our residents.”

SIUE said it is amenable to further discussions of the issue.

“We hope to reach a resolution on this topic that works for both the City of Edwardsville and SIUE. Further discussions are planned,” said SIUE Vice Chancellor for Administration Morris Taylor said in a statement to the Illinois Business Journal. “As a regional economic engine and community-connected university, SIUE is proud to partner with the City of Edwardsville and the Village of Glen Carbon in a variety of ways. We are grateful for and look forward to building these long-standing positive relationships.”

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