COLUMBIA - The Hickman pool has struggled over the colder months to continue being operational. The cause is due to its heater not keeping the pool warm enough.

Columbia City Council will hear a proposal plan about whether a new heater should be installed at Monday night's meeting.

The colder months saw swimmers unable to use the facility at times. Even after consistent repairs were made, the pool had stints of being unavailable, according to Columbia Parks and Recreation Director Mike Griggs.

"We basically replaced just about everything we could find on that heater," Griggs said. "And still could not get it to run, it would run for a day and then it would stop working."

Rock Bridge High School senior Turner DeArmond grew a love for the sport at a young age in the Columbia community. One concern for DeArmond is what could happen to the next generation. 

"If I were that age and the pool was just suddenly operational," DeArmond said. "I wouldn't be swimming today."

DeArmond committed to continue his swimming career for the University of Chicago.

The swimming season lands during the winter season and was limited with the inconsistent temperatures in the water. The pool is used by not only Hickman High School, but both Battle High School and Rock Bridge as well.

The estimated cost of the project is between $30,000 and $35,000. The Columbia Swim Club has agreed to pay $10,000 if city council approves the plan. 

That donation from the Swim Club was necessary in order to get a new heater installed, according to Griggs. 

"We’re going from an older heater that wasn't really efficient to a much more modern heater," Griggs said. "That's going to be a much greater efficiency operation."

City Council will also decide to push back hearings and a vote on the proposed Canton Estates subdivision. The developer, Rob Hill, hopes to build a 113-home residential development on 63 acres at Gans and Bearfield roads. The proposal was shot down by the Planning and Zoning committee in April. Hill has asked council to delay the hearings and vote until its next meeting, June 7.

Other items on the City Council agenda include a public hearing on the proposed annexation of the Boone County Fairgrounds and the introduction of an ordinance that would allocate $10.7 million in federal Coronavirus Aide, Relief and Economic Stimulus money toward the new terminal at Columbia Regional Airport, which will have a final vote on June 7.

The former Boone County Fairgrounds could be renovated into a northeast regional Columbia park on the 135-acre property. The county gave the city the land in January 2020.  

Stream the City Council meeting at 7 p.m. in the above media player.

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