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Beating the heat at De Pere’s public pools

By Lee Reinsch

DE PERE – Many area families are finding relief from the summer heat at the city’s public pools.

The brand new $6.45 million VFW Aquatic Facility, located at 730 Grant St. on the city’s west side, has been “going gangbusters” since it opened for the season June 12, Director of De Pere Parks, Recreation and Forestry Marty Kosobucki said.

The capacity for the pool is about 325 people, and about every third day it is hitting its limit, Kosobucki told the De Pere Board of Park Commissioners July 15 during its regular meeting.

“We’re busting at the seams,” he said.

In 2018, the last time the city operated two pools — the other being Legion Pool, located at 1212 Charles St. on De Pere’s east side — the parks department sold 332 family memberships.

Kosobucki said this year the city sold more than 700 family memberships for the pools.

“We are doing very, very well revenue-wise when it comes to memberships,” Kosobucki said. “The next level, which will be entertaining to say the least, will be to break it down to residents and non-residents.”

He said the boost might be coming from neighboring Green Bay, which delayed opening one pool this year and hasn’t opened another.

Family passes for De Pere’s pools are $110 for residents and $220 for non-residents.

In other action, the park board approved spending $9,685 to repair a section of the De Pere Ice Arena roof.

The move prompted Alderperson Dean Raasch to ask if the arena was turning into a money pit.

In recent years, the city approved $102,800 for new bleachers, $250,000 to rent a temporary chiller and pay for repairs, $52,000 for a Zamboni and $25,000 for a dehumidification system coil.

“Over the last six, seven years we have done a large number of replacements that have cost quite a bit of money,” Kosobucki said. “That’s kind of the nuts and bolts of the facility.”

He also said upcoming bills may come from the leaking heating system in the floor as well as one of three furnaces.

But Kosobucki said the 60-year-old arena was still worth the effort to fix.

“I still think that considering the age of the facility and the cost (of) building a new facility, (and) the value we get out of it, I still think we are doing OK,” he said.

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