The Commerce Journal

March 20, 2013

Commerce Tigersharks organize to 'Save Our Swimming'

By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — When it was announced that the Commerce City Pool would be closed indefinitely because of a broken water pump, the Commerce Tigersharks swim team began a campaign to raise awareness in the community about what they feel is a valuable asset to the community.

Made up of 45 members that hail from Commerce to Sulphur Springs, the Tigersharks had to drive to the Greenville YMCA for practice when the pool closed last summer.

Melinda Reid, swim board chair for the Tigersharks, decided to organize a group of citizens to speak out and try to raise awareness, and funds, for the pool.

“We really want our pool to survive,” she said.

During the Feb. 19 Commerce City Council meeting, Commerce City Manager Marc Clayton expressed the importance of the city pool and said he would schedule a workshop to discuss the future of the pool.

“There are serious issues to get the pool up,” he said at the Feb. 19 meeting.

Clayton recently scheduled a public workshop with the city council, Tigershark board members, the Parks and Recreation board and memberso of the public, that will be held inside the Michael “PeeWee” Walker Conference Room on March 25 at 5:15 p.m.

Reid said the Commerce City Council has been very cooperative in trying to find a way for the pool to survive.

Members of the Commerce Parks and Recreation did a preliminary cost analysis and said it would cost an estimated $60,000 in labor and parts to get the pool back up and running.

Reid said it would be worth the expense in the long run to repair it.

“We understand how much it costs, but we think it’s vital for the community,” she said. “I urge you [city council] to harness energy and resources to find ways to finance the pool. It makes Commerce unique to have a pool.”

According to Tonya Peak, a board member of the Tigersharks, the swimming team’s fate is tied with that of the pool’s.

“If the pool doesn’t survive, then there’s a good chance we won’t,” she said. “It’s near and dear to our hearts.”