CLINTON — Leslie Stumbaugh had a busy afternoon Tuesday as she scraped the bottom of Meadowview Pool.

But it was work she didn’t mind doing.

Just a few weeks ago, the Meadowview Pool board of directors — of which Stumbaugh is a member — was forced into making a decision that saddened them. A shortage of paid pool memberships meant the board couldn’t open the private pool for the 2006 season. Prepaid memberships were sent back to patrons and news spread that Meadowview Pool wouldn’t open on Memorial Day.

But the news this week is different.

The board of directors is crediting a May 30 Clinton Herald article as being the catalyst that led to an increase of memberships and the hope the board will be able to open the pool by June 24.

Stumbaugh said the new coat of paint for which she was preparing will be the determining factor as to when the pool will open. After the paint is applied, it will take about a week to 10 days to cure and that is when the board will be able to know for sure what date water will fill its depths.

The pool is located on Skyline Drive near 30th Avenue North and was built in 1967 to be used by those living in Meadowview Heights. Residents paid for annual memberships to be able to use the pool. As time went on, the numbers declined, so membership was opened to all Clinton residents.

That also worked for a while. This year, people could buy a family membership for $180 by May 15 or an individual membership for $100, with the board needing at least 84 memberships by May 15 to be able to open the pool on Memorial Day.

It didn’t happen.

In fact, the board met May 16 and decided an increase in sewer bills, insurance and real-estate taxes meant 94 pool memberships would be needed to pay the expenses of about $17,000 for the entire season. By mid-May, only 56 memberships had been received. That would have raised a little more than half of what was needed. The payments made by patrons were returned.

Stumbaugh said after the article in the Herald was published, people began sending in memberships to help build the fund needed to operate the pool.

“A lot of neighborhood grandparents bought family memberships,” she said, adding others bought memberships to sponsor families.

“We’re not quite out of the woods yet,” she said of the need to build up an operational fund. “We still need help.”

But the news the pool will open this year is making area residents happy.

Merrill Clausen recently moved into the pool’s neighborhood from the country, where her family had an in-ground pool. Her children, ages 11 and 14, were very disappointed when they, after making the move, learned the pool was not opening.

The news that increased memberships rolled in and are bringing life to the pool perked up the family.

“We can walk right to the pool,” she said. “It’s great that the community came together to make this happen.”

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