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Kyle Lovern/Williamson Daily News The Hardy, Ky. pool was being swept and prepared for a reopening this week. It will be the only public pool in the area available for swimming.

HARDY, Ky. - The area will have at least one public pool open for use after the Pike County Fiscal Court worked out an agreement to lease the Hardy Park Pool at Hardy, Ky.

The pool has been closed for three years. Like most public pools operated by government agencies, it struggled to make a profit due to low attendance.

Hardy resident Brian Booth, a retired employee for the Fiscal Court, helped to work out the agreement.

"We've had a lot of people ask about the pools opening back up," Booth said.

During a recent meeting, the Fiscal Court approved entering into a lease agreement with Kevin Tilley, a local businessman. The return of the pool was something Pike County Judge-Executive Ray Jones said the court had looked into but was unable to get done.

"I'm tickled to death he wanted to lease the pool," Booth said of Tilley. "I'm hoping he does good he is enthusiastic about it."

Jones said he is pleased that children in the Belfry area will have a recreational opportunity this summer.

"We looked at this issue and felt like contracting out the operation of the pool would be beneficial to the community," Jones said.

Booth said that the Pike County Public Works recently drained the pool, painted it and also spruced up the bathhouse. He said the Pike County Health Department was scheduled to inspect the pool on Monday. It is slated to open Wednesday, if everything goes as planned.

Booth said the pumps are in sound mechanical condition.

Several local fire departments volunteered to help bring water to fill the pool.

Tilley purchased liability insurance and has hired certified lifeguards, according to Booth.

The cost will be $5 for adults, $4 for children 17 and under and those who are 6 years and younger can swim for free, if accompanied by an adult. The pool will open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Tilley will also rent the facility for parties in the evening hours from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at a cost of $150.

Booth said he thinks the Hardy, Ky., pool will draw from the Williamson and Matewan areas, since there are no public pools in Mingo County now.

"Not everybody has a pool in their yards," Booth said. "This will give the kids something to do."

The Fiscal Court is also looking at the possibility of leasing and re-opening the Phelps, Ky., pool. However, there may be some mechanical and plumbing issues with that facility.

Kyle Lovern is editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at 304-236-3526 or via e-mail at klovern@HDMediaLLC.com

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