The prospect of re-opening Evergreen Aqua Park at 8956 S. Troy Ave., has been quite appealing to Evergreen Park residents who would like regular access to a community pool. After being closed for two years, the property was recently sold to a man affiliated with the organization's original board of directors, who planned on renovating and opening the pool at a daily fee per person, according to Evergreen Park Mayor Jim Sexton. Previously, the board charged a bond fee for pool patrons.
However, the success of a community pool, as Sexton noted, is questionable. "The community pools in general are not doing well," Sexton said. "The water has gone up significantly, the insurance, the liability part of it is very high the cost of operations is high. Staffing costs are very high. And a lot of people now have (pools) in their backyards."
Calls to the owner and broker of the property went unanswered.
As for whether or not the pool will be open this summer, Sexton says "I think it’s probably questionable for this year, but he did have a plan last time I talked to him to follow through." Before the pool re-opens, its new owner has 21 code violations to clear up, according to the village. Information obtained from the Village of Evergreen Park shows the 21 code violations, each carrying a fine of $150, as of May 3, the most recent inspection. Village health inspector Jeff Layhe says that local residents and business owners who have violations have the option to show up at the village's monthly court hearing, of which the pool's new owner hadn't attended. The next one is Saturday, June 8 at 9:30 a.m. Most of the pool's violations, Layhe says, are "general building violations."
According to Sexton, the broker for the new owner said "it was going to cost him more than he originally thought in order to make the fixes, but he still planned on opening. I had to take him at his word." He continued, "We’re still hopeful it’s going to reopen as a community pool. That’s what we would love to see happen. Whether the economics are there or not is another question."
According to the village, Evergreen Aqua Park has the following violations:
- 302.3 Sidewalks and Driveways
- 302.4 Weeds
- 303.1 Swimming Pools
- 304.1 Stairways, Decks, Porches and Balconies
- 304.12 Handrails and Guards (two violations)
- 304.18 Building Security
- 304.2 Protective Treatment
- 304.6 Exterior Walls
- 305.3 Interior Surfaces
- 403.2 Bathrooms and Toilet Rooms ( three violations)
- 504.3 Plumbing System Hazards
- 505.3 Supply (water supply system)
- 603.1 Mechanical Appliances
- 603.4 Safety Controls
- 604.3 Electrical System Hazards
- 605.3 Luminaries
- 702.1 General (safe, continuous and un-obstructed egress)
- 704.2 Smoke Alarms