Shelby Saylor, left, and Ashley Tran do some laps Tuesday evening at the Phyllis Dewar outdoor pool. On Monday, city council decided it would not change the adult-only noon hour swims at the outdoor pool in July and August to a lap swim for all ages. Alison Sebastian photograph
Monday, Nancy Wollner-Epoch, asked city council to think about changing adult noon hour swims at the Phyllis Dewar Outdoor Pool to a lap swim for all ages.
Wollner-Epoch is a local athlete and mother of two young swimmers who addressed city council about the topic, saying the noon hour adult swim was put in place 20 years ago, but the time has come for some changes.
Wollner-Epoch told council the months she was concerned about were July and August, since during this time both the Kinsmen Sportsplex indoor pool and the Phyllis Dewar outdoor pool run noon hour adult swims.
She wanted council to think about expanding the adult only swim to include all ages at the outdoor pool, while maintaining the adult only swim at the indoor pool.
"Our youth need to have more options for physical fitness," said Wollner-Epoch explaining her reasoning for the request.
She said having the time available for lap swimming would allow for more training time and provide an alternative time for laps swimming for children and youth who want to swim for fitness reasons.
She acknowledged there is lap swimming during public swim hours but said it is nearly impossible to do laps uninterrupted during this time.
Having the adult swim made into lap swimming would perhaps help overweight youth or children who do not feel comfortable going to public swimming to come swim laps to improve their fitness, suggested Wollner-Epoch.
She also noted changing the adult swim would benefit users who like to swim laps with their children and would increase the users during a time when the pool is under utilized.
The number of people who generally use the outdoor and indoor pool during the noon hour adult swim ranges from 13 to 25 people at each venue, depending on the month, according to Jody Hauta, the director of parks and recreation.
Later in the meeting, city council reviewed a recommendation by the parks and recreation advisory board to maintain the existing outdoor pool adult noon hour swim.
Hauta said the majority of people surveyed who frequented adult noon hour swim said they were OK with opening up the time to youth.
Mayor Dale McBain asked why a pilot program to open up the adult time was not tried.
Hauta said the advisory committee reviewed the hours available for youth and family and saw the only exclusive time for adults was the noon hour swim.
City council approved the recommendation for the adult noon hour swim to be maintained.
Councillor Al Schwinghamer was the sole councillor to vote against the motion.
Wollner-Epoch said she was disappointed with the decision as she was hoping to be able to swim laps with her kids in the outdoor pool this summer.
But said she was glad council addressed the issue and said hopefully it would look at it again next year.
Alison Sebastian can be reached