When the Jeffersonville Community Pool’s season opening was delayed, local residents offered to pitch in and help. Professional service from a local technician to fix the pool’s leak has now put the opening of the pool ahead of the anticipated schedule. If things go well, the pool will be opening Father’s Day weekend this year.
Residents in the area have complained about the pool’s closure with worry that another leak could delay its opening until further into the summer, an option that seems unbearable for some kids. When people talk about the activities for the youth and families to do in the region, one of the first things people mention is the swimming pool.
The village of Jeffersonville has a population of less than 2,000 residents but the Jeffersonville Community Pool sees visitors from Fayette, Green, Pickaway and Clark counties.
The Jeffersonville Community Pool is for some people in the area, their vacation. The youth say it’s one of the only things to do during the summer months when they aren’t in school, and they would like more to see and do in the area.
The pool is rural Fayette County’s lifeline.
Ben Butz, 18, started working at Detty’s before graduating from high school. He lives in Midway with his family and plans to stick around the region for awhile as he takes online college courses.
Butz said there’s a steady group of regular customers who come through the door at Detty’s, but said that traffic really trickled off in town after the elementary school closed across the street. (Students from the school moved to the present Miami Trace Local School District buildings on Route 41.)
The park was left behind when the elementary school was closed.
A covered pavilion has been constructed on the site. On the weekends, the park is busy, but it doesn’t bring the same amount of traffic to the area that the school once did, said Butz. His mother went to the elementary school when it was still there. Later she started working at Detty’s grocery store, but the economy in the village today isn’t the same.
The school wasn’t the only building to close in recent times: the bank, hardware store, video store, gym, and guitar store have all closed in the small village.
When asked what Jeffersonville needs in order to help the community’s locals, Butz said, “More to do is the simple answer. More to do, more to see.”
Butz himself would like to see a paintball park. He drives two or more hours across the state to get to a worthwhile paintball park in the region.
In town, he said there isn’t much to see or do. A farmer’s market would help, he said, but there isn’t one in Jeffersonville that he’s aware of.
“We do a Fourth of July celebration but it is such sporadic events that it’s not really a reliable place to have entertainment. But when it gets busy, it’s a great place to be,” said Butz.
There’s a roller skating rink and a bowling alley 30 minutes from where Butz lives. He said he’s used to commuting out of the area to do things, but that he would like to see more things open up in Jeffersonville. In the future, he said he plans to move away from the area to continue college.
Ganah Lewis, 21, works at a fast-food restaurant at the edge of Jeffersonville. She said the store gets a lot of out-of-state travelers who are just passing through on Interstate 71.
Lewis said she moved with her family to Jeffersonville from Columbus. Here in Jeffersonville she said her family finds it nicer, and said there’s less drama.
“It’s quiet. Everybody here knows each other somehow. It’s that small of a town,” said Lewis. She drives 20 minutes to the nearest city to go shopping and to find entertainment.
She said the local village’s near-empty downtown could be improved by, “Maybe opening up businesses that we would actually go to.”
Lewis said the locals need more food options downtown, shopping stores, or even a bike rental shop.
For now, everyone is waiting for the Jeffersonville Community Pool to re-open. According to Jeffersonville Mayor Bob Kinzer, the pool is what draws people into the village.
Kinzer said the village will keep working to open the pool for many years to come. It’s an important part of the regional community, he said, and they aren’t going to let the leak close the pool permanently.
“A lot of people bring their picnic baskets and that’s where they spend their summer vacation,” said Kinzer.
Ashley may be contacted by phone at (740) 313-0355 or by searching Twitter for @ashbunton