The City of Greenwood has been looking for a way to provide its citizens with a swimming pool for several years. During last month’s Parks Commission meeting, Commissioner Steve Ratterree suggested that someone open communication with the local country club about the possibility of the City taking over their swimming pool. It was decided to approach the City Council for their blessing before discussions were officially opened.
"Our intent would be to peel the onions back and see if they’re interested in a relationship with the city," Parks Commission member Steve Ratterree said. "What that relationship would look like, we don’t know at this time. We would be open to pretty much anything they would want to discuss."
At this month’s City Council meeting, Ratterree explained the plan to the Council during his Parks Commission report. The council unanimously agreed to have Ratterree along with Councilman Tim Terry begin a conversation with Vache Grasse Country Club about their swimming pool. The initial discussions will just be a fact finding mission. The City Council wants to know how much it will cost to bring the pool up to standard for public use and how much it will cost to maintain the swimming pool and all of the facilities.
"I’d be more than happy to help," Terry said. "I can guarantee they will probably roll a red carpet out for the city to take that money pit off their hands."
Vache Grasse offered its pool to the city two years ago, according to Mary Rogers with the country club.
"They don’t have a pool, and we were having trouble with expenses," Rogers said. "I think at the time, it needed some repairs. So they sent someone out and they said no, they didn’t want to do it. We just started doing it ourselves."
The club’s pool opened for the season over Memorial Day weekend.
"It’s never been closed," Rogers said. "It just sometimes doesn’t get open on time. We’ve run it every year."
If both sides show interest, the city will evaluate the pool, Ratterree said.
"We would want to look at the condition of the pool, condition of the grounds, condition of the equipment," he said. "We would also want to make sure we understood the finances. There’s a lot work that would need to be done."
Mayor Del Gabbard said pools can become expensive to maintain and operate.
"But everybody wants a pool," he said. "We don’t even have a splash pad."
The swimming pool at Vache Grasse Country Club was built by Luther Stem over 40 years ago. Their is a main pool, a wading pool and a covered patio with tables and chairs. The wading pool is 18 inches deep while the main swimming pool ranges from three feet to thirteen feet. The current posted maximum occupancy is 89 people.