WILLIAMSON – At a special session of the Mingo County Commission held Monday morning, the commission announced that the Laurel Lake pool will be open daily, from the hours of 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. beginning today (Tuesday), July 12.
During the meeting, Tina Abbott Administrative Assistant for the Commission announced that the required pool permits had been approved and the facility was ready to open. “Everything is good. It was permitted … We just need to know what you guys want to do as far as hours, and will it be open seven days a week?” Abbot questioned.
Commissioner Diann Hannah responded, “I think we will open immediately…” The commission then discussed the days and times the pool would be open. Following discussion, the commission approved opening the pool on Tuesday, July 12. The pool will be open daily from the hours of 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. until the new school year commences. The pool will then operate fewer days a week but will continue to be open until after Labor Day weekend. “I do not want to see it closed until September 5,” Commissioner John Mark Hubbard stated.
The commission also approved reserving the pool for private parties at the cost of $100. Pool rentals are available from the hours of 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Summer plans for the Laurel Lake pool also include establishing vending machines at the pool facility to provide snacks and drinks for swimmers. “I think we need to look into that pretty quickly,” Hubbard said.
The commission also addressed recent controversy surrounding the opening of the Laurel Lake pool currently circulating on social media. At the meeting, the commission stressed that funds used to open the pool were provided by the state and were not taken from county funds.
Commissioner Hubbard approached the subject stating, “The County has not spent a penny out of general county funds or out of coal severance dollars. We have not taken one penny out of county funds to open this facility. We had $150,000 given to us from the state of West Virginia to operate this facility. As long as I am commissioner, we will operate this facility as such.”
Commissioner Hannah agreed. “If we use that money for any other reason, you would go to jail. It is not going to save anyone’s job by us not taking the money from the state to open this pool. Actually, it has created some jobs because you can’t take DNR money and use it to operate the Courthouse. It is only for the pool, the sheds and the facilities. I have been bashed big time on Facebook over that and I can take it because I know the truth. The truth is, when the state says: ‘ Are you willing to let us give you $50,000 for a period of three years which is a total of $150,000 to take the pool and operate it for your county?’ We said, ‘Yes, we will…”
Hubbard stated, “We are taking money that has been given to us and has been designated for the use of that pool.”
“I am thanking God that we have a solution to keep at least one pool open in this county for these kids that have nothing. I have a pool at home and I can take the attitude that no one else needs one but that’s not my attitude. I am going to do everything that I can to make sure that these kids who have nothing get something out of all this mess,” Hannah said.
“If anyone has a question, I would be happy to talk to them,” Commissioner Hubbard added. “Same here,” Hannah agreed.
(Courtney Harrison is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)