East Ridge pool in limbo - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

East Ridge pool in limbo

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Story by Eyewitness News Reporter Megan Boatwright

EAST RIDGE. (WRCB)--It's Memorial Day weekend, which should mean splashing and fun at the East Ridge pool. Instead, it is filled with desperation.

The bank has given the board a week to come up with more than a $100,000.

The trouble started in 2001 when some property taxes weren't paid.

So to pay up, the foundation took out a loan.

Last winter they fell behind on payments, so now they're faced with foreclosure.

"We're calling our members our friends our families any contact we have," says pool Director Sonya Burns-Lewis.

It's a last desperate attempt to save something that's been a part of the East Ridge community for almost half a century.

"I raised six children all in this pool," says long-time pool member Hazel Waters.

Hazel Waters remembers the better days well.

"My husband was the swim coach and the pool director for many years it was our life in the summer time," says Waters.

But it looks as though this pool won't be apart of the people's lives anymore unless it's board of volunteers can come up with $122,000 in the next week.

"We would love to have it open in the next few weeks but that all depends on whether we can come through with some money or not," says Burns-Lewis.

Last August the foundation went to the city for help offering them the option to purchase the property, they say at a bargain price with the one understanding.

"That the pool would stay open cause that's been the goal all along," says Burns-Lewis.

But the city didn't see it that way saying repair costs to reopen the pool would be too steep.

"They are willing to buy the property at a small fraction of what it's worth however they are adamantly not willing to open the community pool," says Burns-Lewis.

So that brings us to today. Every one of these people are here because they fear what East Ridge would look like without the pool.

"I think it would be a detriment to the youth in this community. I think it would be a detriment to the morale in this community," says Burns-Lewis.

The volunteers also held a meeting at four o'clock this afternoon.

The city has given them until Tuesday to give a final answer on their offer to purchase the property and the bank between a week and a month to make full payment on what is owed.

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