During some of the hottest days of the year, the Crystal Brook community pool had to close due to vandalism, leaving many residents left without an option to cool off.
The pool is managed by YMCA South Australia, on Port Pirie Regional Council’s behalf, and only last year it was visited by more than 5200 people.
“When the manager opened the pool on Saturday, January 5, it became apparent that during Friday night a person or people had climbed over the fence, smashed beer bottles in the car park and on the poolside and left many empty bottles in the pool grounds,” said James Lomax of YMCA.
“In addition to this they spread faeces all over the inside of the pool wall. This was both disgusting and a health hazard for staff to clean up.
“The pool needed to remain closed as per SA Health regulations whilst the clean-up took place and the pool could be chemically cleaned to ensure it was safe for patrons to re-enter late the next day.
“The YMCA lost a day and a half of takings over one of the hottest weekends of the season so far, so the real loss was the loss of access to a public swimming pool due to an act of vandalism.”
The YMCA did offer the use of the Port Pirie pool to Crystal Brook residents, including free use to Crystal Brook season pass holders.
“The staff worked really hard to ensure the pool reopened as normal on Sunday afternoon and the YMCA expects no further disruption to the season,” Mr Lomax added.
“The YMCA believes the swimming pool is a great community hub over the summer months and council have worked hard on recent upgrades to the facility for this season, including repairs to tiles, painting the pool lip, plant maintenance and upgrades and new matting in the changing rooms.
“The pool is available for all residents to use and enjoy it is just disappointing that the facility has been a target for this type of vandalism.”
After consultation with Port Pirie council the YMCA has made a formal police report.
Environmental Services Manager of council, Patrick Clifton, said the act was very disappointing.
“This is a great community facility, well supported by Crystal Brook residents and where a lot of work goes to, and it is sad it was targeted this way,” Mr Clifton said.
“YMCA does a great job managing the pool and always working together with council to identify funding to operate and upgrade the facility.”
Mr Clifton said the pool cost $70,000 in operation and small upgrades, which means about $15 per visit, last year and that council receives no revenue from that pool.
If you have information about this criminal act, please contact police on 8638 4000.