I appreciated the light hearted conversation in Between the Lines recently about the splash pad’s delayed opening in Platte City, but I think it brings up a more important topic within Platte County which is the lack of summer outdoor activities, and more specifically lack of pool access for our youth.
Platte County does not have a pool and the splash pads do not seem to be opening anytime soon. There are a few neighborhood subdivision pools within Platte County, but those are intended for their respective homeowners.
The YMCA has a competition pool, lazy river and activity pool with a slide and water features, but the number of hours these are available to members is minimal. The pools are closed between 1-3 p.m. (the hottest part of the day) during the weekday, Saturday they are open from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
When I approached the YMCA about the lack of available hours for the pool I was informed that this was due to minimal staff, but over the past few weeks I have seen numerous new guards, but have not seen that trickle down to increased pool availability.
I posted on the Nextdoor app about my frustrations and the lack of pool access for our youth. Other frustrated Platte County residents, many FORMER members of the YMCA all had similar complaints about decreased pool hours and other concerns regarding the YMCA. Another Nextdoor post this past week from an employee at Seven Bridges regarding trespassers at their pool just solidifies the fact that kids are looking for a place to swim.
I grew up in Platte City, graduated high school here, worked as a lifeguard at the YMCA in my teens and when we had the opportunity to move our family back to Platte City we jumped at it. I envisioned my twins learning to swim at the local YMCA, slide down the slide, play in the water feature, but unfortunately the water slide is never on and you must wear a life jacket in the lazy river. What I envisioned is not the reality of the current YMCA and the fellow members of our community, those paying taxes for this facility, those that are still remaining members deserve more access.
You may think to yourself, does this really involve me, or does this impact ME? Well it does, if you are a taxpayer within Platte County you are funding the YMCA. “The Platte County Community Centers, operated by the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, are possible thanks to a voter-approved half-cent sales tax to fund Platte County Parks and Recreation.”
I believe that Platte County should take a look into how the YMCA is choosing to manage the facility and reevaluate the partnership going forward.