FORT WORTH -- The aging Forest Park pool will cost about $830,000 to repair, and a local foundation's grant toward that cost is $500,000, according to a report given to City Council members Monday.It was the first time the city has publicized the estimated cost of repairing the popular pool, closed since 2010, and the amount of the Radler Foundation's contribution.The council is scheduled to vote today on whether to authorize the agreement with the foundation and to accept the grant.If repairs go forward, the pool, on the city's south side near the Fort Worth Zoo, is scheduled to re-open in May.The family foundation, established by oil and gas man Michael Radler, lists Christian outreach as its mission in federal filings. Foundation officials have been reserved in remarks about the grant."Our goal in working with the city of Fort Worth on the Forest Park pool repair and reopening is to establish a template for private companies and foundations to use as they seek to make a difference in Fort Worth," Rienke Radler, a board member, said in a statement Monday."This particular partnership with the Radler Foundation will serve thousands of children and young adults in Fort Worth offering them a healthy, active summer outlet."The pool, built in 1922, was closed in 2010 because of the failure of its 18-year-old PVC liner. The city announced in late July that it would reopen the pool with the help of a substantial gift from the foundation.At the time, the city estimated its portion of the cost could go as high as $200,000. The city's share, which will come from Fort Worth's capital projects reserve fund, is now estimated at $330,000, according to the staff report.That's after engineering and research, said city Parks Director Richard Zavala on Monday."We now have actual construction documents," he said.Councilman Joel Burns, whose district includes the pool, praised the foundation for its financial gift and donating its "time and expertise.""They not only wrote the check, a very generous check, but they've been very involved in the engineering," Burns said.The estimated repair cost is a far cry from the $2.9 million estimated in a 2007 city swimming pool audit. Zavala said that estimate included the replacement of the pool's filtration system, decking, liner and bathhouse. That project would have had a 20- to 30-year life, Zavala said.The key component of the planned project is to repair the liner, which will have an estimated 15-year life, he said."This is a repair project," he said.Under the agreement, the foundation's contribution will be capped at $500,000, two-thirds of a total $750,000. Anything beyond the $500,000 is the city's share, the staff report said.If the project comes in at less than a total $750,000, Radler would receive two-thirds of the savings, the report said.The project also will include repairs to the mechanical and filtration systems. The deck next to the popular wading pool will be expanded. One of the diving boards will be replaced, as will the structure for the high dive. The curved slide will be replaced, and the deck around it expanded. The project will also include new furniture and umbrellas.The old bathhouse will remain in its current condition.The city, citing budget issues, closed several city pools in 2009 with the Forest Park pool, the largest, closing a year later.The Marine Creek pool reopened for this summer but closed after the season and is being demolished to make way for a new aquatic center under construction nearby.Scott Nishimura, 817-390-7808Twitter: @JScottNishimura
At its meeting at 7 tonight, the City Council has scheduled time for a public hearing on proposed changes in the city's ethics ordinance. A vote is set for Dec. 18.
The council delayed the vote on the ordinance last week after several people spoke against it, saying there hadn't been enough opportunity for public comment.