JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Back in 2015, News Channel 11 obtained documents showing the Legion Street pool in Johnson City was leaking millions of gallons of water and routinely losing more than twice its capacity every month.
At the time, parks and recreation officials told us they were working to fix the problem. The cause of the water leakage was not identified back then.
News Channel 11 talked to city officials Thursday and found out the problem is still there. Legion Street pool is still where it was when we first reported on the leak problem.
When we spoke to those city officials, they said there is no future fix coming anytime soon.
In 2019, the city still is without answers.
“We are not currently aware of exactly where the leak is,” Recreation Services Manager Sam Miller said.
In 2015, the then Parks and Rec Director said the Legion Street pool was at the “end of its useful life.”
Four years later, it’s still in operation, with no fix in sight.
“We have identified different priorities that the citizens would like to see and, currently, in our capital improvements plan, a new aquatics facility is not listed,” Miller said.
These priorities, according to Miller, were identified through citizen surveys.
Miller said the city found there was more demand for updating playgrounds and athletic fields.
“Although we do have the inefficiencies here and our water bill may be slightly higher each year due to that, we think that it’s cheaper, in the long run, to keep this facility going at the minimal cost, as opposed to investing a significant amount of money into a fix, when ultimately we all know we want a brand new facility,” Miller said.
The thought of a new facility is appealing to pool-goers like Virginia Hughes.
“That’d be great, I mean we’ve had this one for so many years, a new one would be wonderful,” Hughes said.
Miller said a renovation using the existing pool site would be more than $1.5 million. Starting from scratch would cost upwards of $3 million.
He also points out, despite the lack of improvements, attendance remains strong and consistent, despite competition from other water parks and pool facilities in the area.
Recreation Services Manager Sam Miller said there is still no timetable for when the Legion Street area could see a new pool.