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Capaha Park pool faces uncertain future

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department senior pool maintenance manager Roger Williams sprays down Capaha Pool Thursday afternoon, April 30, 2009, in preparation for the upcoming season. Capaha Pool, which first opened in 1957, will open to the public on Memorial Day weekend.
(Kit Doyle)
By Brian Blackwell

Southeast Missourian

This summer could be the swan song for the pool at Capaha Park.

The pool has been plagued by repeated breakdowns in recent years and the possibility of lower attendance when the new aquatic park opens near the Osage Community Centre in 2010, and city officials are uncertain whether the 52-year-old Capaha Pool will operate through the summer or even open at all.

Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation director Dan Muser said crews are patching a pool wall and painting and patching sections of the bath house. He said the pool is deteriorating and allowing sand from the filtration system to flow into the pool.

The pool is scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend and close Labor Day. But Muser said city officials won't know whether the pool is operational until repairs are complete next week.

"Once we get water in there and turn on the pumps to get everything running, we'll know if it'll be ready," Muser said. "Plans are to open the pool on its traditional weekend, but we won't know if that will happen until then."

Muser said the pool and bath house would have to be completely rebuilt to remain operational, costing the city at least a few million dollars. He said the city does not have the money to fund such repairs.

Cape Girardeau Mayor Jay Knudtson echoed the thought.

"Certainly our goal is to keep it open, but recent discoveries have found the equipment to be in pretty bad shape," Knudtson said. "Given the tough budget times we're going through it might not be the prudent thing to purchase new equipment when its ultimate livelihood is in jeopardy."

Some of the most recent problems at the pool date back to June 2004, when a hydrochloric acid leak in the chemical storage room of the pool briefly shut the facility down.

The next year a broken circulating pump shut down the pool from mid-July through the remainder of the swimming season.

And in August, the pool was forced to close for a few days while crews made electrical repairs.

"That's been the story of the pool for 20 years," Muser said. "Either it flies or it doesn't fly. It's hard to keep it going without spending some money, but it's always been the concept of not spending thousands of dollars on a pool that at very best we keep patching up.

"We've tried to keep the cost of fixing it down but at the same time keeping it operational," he said. "But we can't continue going in there spending money we don't have."

Knudtson said that closing the pool would end an era of one of the city's landmarks.

"It's represented a form of recreation for our city that is certainly undeniable," Knudtson said. "With great trepidation and angst, we have to have this conversation.

"It's troublesome but reality," he said. "This is a facility that may have reached its end of the road."

Muser said that if the pool closes patrons can use the Central Municipal Pool and the proposed aquatic center. Scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend 2010, the four-acre aquatic center will boast a slide, pool, children's bathing area, whirlpool, concession stand and lazy river. A ribbon cutting is planned for March.

"Once this aquatic center opens I suspect there won't be a lot of activity in the other pools," Muser said. "This will be the place to come.

"The others are great for lap or competitive swimming but not much fun for anything other than getting wet," he said. "It will be an amazing facility that appeals to the entire family."



Pertinent address:

410 Kiwanis Drive, Cape Girardeau, MO

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NOOOOoooooo! Time to reopen the fountain/wading pool at Arena Park!

-- Posted by Megalomania on Fri, May 1, 2009, at 2:35 PM

They say this EVERY year. I suppose eventually they will be right.

-- Posted by Just__Me on Fri, May 1, 2009, at 2:53 PM

This photo reminds me of that movie with Bill Murray and he's cleaning the pool and eats the candy bar. Caddyshack?

-- Posted by TommyStix on Fri, May 1, 2009, at 3:10 PM

What does this matter, its a duck pond anyway!

-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Fri, May 1, 2009, at 3:16 PM

"Muser said the pool and bath house would have to be completely rebuilt to remain operational, costing the city at least a couple of million dollars. He said the city does have the money to fund such repairs."

DOES have the money. This is either a misprint or someone better start explaining the articles we have been reading about the city coming up short in the $600,000 range. If they HAVE the money. Heres a tip, close this pool down fill it in with dirt and take the MILLIONS and fill in the holes in the budget.

-- Posted by gman on Fri, May 1, 2009, at 7:32 PM

I hear back fill is pretty cheap. But knowing Knudston and the rest of the council they'd have to pay someone from St. Louis or Chicago to come in to do it.

Scrap it. Then scrap that stupid waste of tax money the Jay B. Knudston Memorial Water Park.

Cape Girardeau Where the City Turns A Thousand Taxes.

-- Posted by Mosely on Fri, May 1, 2009, at 9:10 PM

TommyStix: I apologize for missing it. I just picked my bu*t up off the floor after reading your post. All we need is the CGPR guy taking a bite out of a candy bar...wasn't it a Pay-Day?

-- Posted by Just__Me on Fri, May 1, 2009, at 9:54 PM

It's no big deal...


Baby Ruth!

-- Posted by Lumpy on Fri, May 1, 2009, at 10:28 PM

We need more parking for SEMO baseball games. Flatten it out!

Baby Ruth looks more like a turd. We pulled tha prank weekly in Jackson after that movie came uot. They don't float though.

-- Posted by grandma73 on Sat, May 2, 2009, at 9:43 AM


I like Justme over looked the meaning of your comments. Thanks Lumpy for the video. That made the family have a good laugh early this morning. May have to have Netflix send me the movie for old times.

But just remember, if someone trys this in the new water park. The new high pressered motors will make the candy bar look like someone had the squirts.

Daddy why is the water brown? lol

-- Posted by gman on Sat, May 2, 2009, at 9:46 AM

It's good to laugh in times like this. Caddyshack is one of those rare breed of movies that regarless of the fact that I know every line by heart, it still provides belly buster after belly buster!

The Quest For the Holy Grail, Blazing Saddles, Animal House, Airplane, Naked Gun and Borat are a few others that I can think of off the top of my head.

-- Posted by Lumpy on Sat, May 2, 2009, at 9:58 AM

Those movies are clasics. Saw all of them except Borat. They where made before everything became politicaly correct. The campfire scene in Blazing Saddles was a riot.

-- Posted by gman on Sat, May 2, 2009, at 10:27 AM

Borat should not even be mentioned on the same internet as politically correctness.

Another newer un-PC laugh riot favorite, and probably my favorite movie of all time is Team America World Police.

-- Posted by Lumpy on Sat, May 2, 2009, at 11:20 AM

It is sad that a serious story about a swimming pool can change into a discussion about a B-rated movie!

-- Posted by mo_ky_fellow on Sat, May 2, 2009, at 11:28 AM

Yep. We are a sad lot. Add Superbad, Van Wilder, History of the World Part 1, and selected parts of American Pie movies (gotta love it when Stiffler eats the dog poo...).

-- Posted by Just__Me on Sat, May 2, 2009, at 11:35 AM


Borat...a classic? Come on man! If that's a classic, so is "Strange Brew" (1983).

-- Posted by Megalomania on Sat, May 2, 2009, at 11:48 AM

Let's not forget about the best movie ever....Pootie Tang.


Sa da ta, my brother. Sa da ta.

-- Posted by grandma73 on Sat, May 2, 2009, at 1:01 PM


-- Posted by grandma73 on Sat, May 2, 2009, at 1:02 PM

Eh, man. Let's put a baby mouse in a beer bottle, eh... Forgot about that one.

-- Posted by Just__Me on Sat, May 2, 2009, at 1:16 PM

I still can't really eat a Baby Ruth to this day with out the gag reflex kicking in and the vision of the Caddyshack scene... thanks Lumpy for the link (i love youtube) here's a link to the part leading up to the scene...JAWS music and all...DOOOODIEEE! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDI15t8xa...

-- Posted by TommyStix on Sat, May 2, 2009, at 1:22 PM

I turned AMC on today and guess what was on.


Irony is so ironic!

-- Posted by Lumpy on Sun, May 3, 2009, at 6:35 PM

Let everyone use the central pool. That's all.

-- Posted by Beaker on Sun, May 3, 2009, at 10:23 PM

gman you must have read the article wrong it said does not have the money to keep fixing up However the pool should close after this year. because we could use the money for other thngs.

-- Posted by E.A. on Wed, May 13, 2009, at 3:01 PM

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