HENDERSON, Ky (WEHT) – The Mt. Carmel Municipal Swimming Pool will be open for the 2023 summer season, but Mayor Joe Judge says it is in severe need of remodeling.
In early January, Judge addressed a rumor through a Facebook post regarding the city pool closing down.
“The Mt. Carmel City Pool will be open this coming summer!!! Not sure why someone would make comments that it would not be open but I want everyone to rest assured it will be open,” Judge said in the Facebook post. Since then, Judge has been giving more updates concerning the city pool on social media and through City Council meetings.
In February, the City Council received a final evaluation from the Burbach Aquatics Inc. The 66-page evaluation detailed a list of issues, including a price of over $11,000,000 to place the pool up to code.
The pool is nearing 86 years old and is the second oldest pool in Illinois. Judge says the pool will not be closing any time soon–however, the state could say otherwise. Recently, pools in Southeastern Illinois have been shutting down based on community and state decisions.
“There’s […] a trend going on right now that’s kind of disturbing here in Southeastern Illinois,” Judge said in an interview through News Channel 15, a student-run news station at Wabash Valley College. “[Communities are] making that very tough decision on closing [pools] down. We’re not about to do that here in Mt. Carmel. We’re going to keep functioning. Our pool–it runs great–but the problem is that it just doesn’t meet any of the codes and, unfortunately, in the municipality world […] the state being our guiding system […] they govern us operating so, at any time, they can come in and shut us down.”
Earlier this month, the Albion Park District voted to shut down the Albion Park Pool. Workers who used to work at the pool are applying to different active pools in the Southeastern Illinois area, such as the Mt. Carmel Pool, the Carmi Swimming Pool, and the Grayville Swimming Pool.
The outdoor Cougar Pool on the campus of Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville has been closed to the public for four years. The indoor Wabash Valley College pool was shut down in 2020.
The Mt. Carmel City’s pool committee is still looking into Burbach Aquatics’ report and considering financial options. Applications to work at the Mt. Carmel Pool are now available at the Mt. Carmel City Hall. The pool is currently hiring lifeguards, managers, cleaning, and concession positions.