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Pool Weathers Successful Season

By Randy Rutherford - Staff Writer | Aug 18, 2021

TCHS Band Pool Party

The chaise lounge chairs are packed, the yummy concession stand snacks eaten and the lifeguards have returned to their respective schools. Sunday was the final day for the Sistersville Pool season. It is always bittersweet. The pool closing means the summer season is coming to an end. The busy fall is just around the corner, but it is a good time to look back and take stock of how the swim season played out for the community.

Connie Boyd, Sistersville Park and Pool Board president, informed city council of the numbers for the season. The pool opened June 8th, closed August 8th for the season and was open a total of 55 days. The pool was forced to close a total of 6 days, 4 of those days were due to weather. Two of the closures were due to insufficient staffing of lifeguards. The pool is required to man 4 lifeguards, 3 in chairs and one patrolling the deck to offer full capacity admittance. This especially becomes problematic as guards return to school in August. It used to be most schools waited until after Labor Day to return students, but that is not the case today. Extracurricular activities began, too, for students, and they are unavailable to continue their employment.

Attendance was strong for the swim season. The pool averaged 77.5 people per day with several hot days claiming admittance of over 150. Board President Boyd explained the levy funds should keep the pool in the black.

Park and Pool Manager Karrisa Buck just concluded her first season at the helm of the historic landmark. I went to the pool for the final night to get her thoughts on the season. “I feel the summer was a success. The smiles on our swimmer’s faces are how I measure success!”

The last event of the season at the pool was an evening swim party. “What a way to close the season hosting the Knights Marching Band at our pool,” raved the manager. Karrisa explained the well known area band had just completed a summer of hot practices and a weeklong band camp where students learned their music and field show for the competitive season and fall football games. “Adults and children had a great time using the pool. They all got in on a huge game of monkey in the middle; it was fun to watch,” reported Karissa. The band hopes to make the night swim party a new yearly tradition.

Karissa also explained the park is ready to begin renting river-view campsites, and feels the park is in the best shape of the season. The grounds are well manicured and the views of the Ohio from the campsites are incredible. Add in a campfire safely contained in a provided campsite ring and the memories are bound to be life lasting! Water, electric and sewer are provided with the rental rate of $40 a night. Long term rentals are available, also, at a reduced cost. Call the city building at (304) 652-6361 for reservations or more information.

The board wants to thank manager Karissa Buck for her hard work and dedication to the park and pool. “We would not have enjoyed the successful swim season without the leadership of Karissa Buck! She was a fabulous manager handling staff issues as well as pop-up problems with ease,” explained board vice president Mary Ann Rutherford. Rutherford also commented on the hard working summer maintenance staff. “Mike Grimm, Jason Wayne, Drew Billiter and Phillip Rudder made up our summer crew. All worked hard getting the park in shape and keeping it that way.” Rutherford added the park is a big job for the city to maintain, but it is the place our community gathers for exercise and celebration. Its importance and value to the city and area residents is unmatched and deserves the best care.

As the season draws to a close, there are some exciting happenings in the near future. Mayor Rice is working with contractors to resurface the basketball court, and Jacob Lorhi is spearheading a group to replace the basketball posts and backstops. This will be a much needed upgrade to the park, and will see heavy use once completed.