Tick tock on the clock
October 6, 2022
Three months have passed since it was announced Hartley's new pool would never open in 2022. Now the calendar has flipped to October, and the City With a Heart is still treading water waiting for answers.
There was a glimmer of hope in August when the Iowa Electrical Examining Board approved a plan that would allegedly address electrical inspection failures at the pool. According to City Hall, that approval came with several strict stipulations. Since there's been no movement at the aquatic center, we can only assume things remain at a standstill.
The Sentinel-News inquired about any new developments regarding the pool on Monday. We were told there's nothing to report. As you can see in this week's collection of stories, nothing was reported.
Local officials are not to blame for the pool fiasco. This was a hired job, and responsibility for failed safety inspections lies soley on those hired to carry out the specs and details of the pool's blueprints. As reported in past coverage, the lack of oversight regarding electrical inspections was egregious and unprecidented (at least according to the design engineer, who's been working in the industry for 25 years). This situation would be laughable if it wasn't such a nightmare.
Who's to say if Hartley will have a pool next summer? Everyone hopes so, but it's fair to assert that optimism is waning. This monumental error on behalf of those hired to build our city's new aquatic center has led to a lack of faith that this huge community investment will ever cross the finish line. Right now, all we have is a big, expensive cement hole.
This situation is on eggshells – anyone with a functioning brain realizes litigation regarding massive blunders like this is often unavoidable. Still, the contractor has the opportunity to make things right. Hartley is hoping it does, but locals should probably gird their expectations.
So, we wait. Snow will soon fly in northwest Iowa and things are feeling less and less hopeful with each passing week. Hartley will have a functioning pool one day, but how it gets to that point will remain a mystery for the time being.
Cross your fingers, knock on wood – do whatever you feel is necessary to bring some good luck to this situation because right now it's beyond everyone's control. As frustrating as that may be for Hartley residents and officials at City Hall, sometimes that's just the way it is.