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Pot Hole & Swimming Pool

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- The Commander's Action Line is a forum for the Ellsworth community to make suggestions or voice concerns about Ellsworth directly to Col. Mark Weatherington, 28th Bomb Wing commander. Below, he answers a concern in regard to a pot hole on base and the cost to visit the swimming pool.  

I have two concerns that I would like to address. First, have there been any plans in the future to fix the pot hole at the intersection of Scott and Centennial? It is quite deep and getting larger by the day. Second, I recently injured my hip not enabling me to exercise at an aerobic level. Upon seeing Flight Medicine, the doctor has prescribed for me to swim laps not only for therapy, but general exercise as well. After talking to the swim staff at the gym indoor pool, I discovered that you actually have to pay to use the pool, even to utilize the adult lap swim. There is only free admission for Active Duty personnel. I am a dependant spouse and I find it ridiculous and a further erosion of benefits. I understand with the outdoor pool closed for the summer money has to be made. I don't plan on using the pool recreationally and for me to be charged daily or monthly just to swim laps I feel is wrong. We as dependants sacrifice and work hard, if not harder on a daily level supporting our AD spouses at home and during long TDYs or deployments. Spouses at home, now more than ever, are having to shoulder more responsibility while our families are asked to give up even more now that deployments are more frequent and longer. I feel like a second class citizen being forced to pay to swim laps just because I am not active duty. Can't there be a way to waive the fee for this type of usage? I remember that in the past the adult lap swim was free to all people, but obviously times have changed now that the club has taken over half the gym. Do I foresee a global takeover of the entire gym, paying outrageous fees to even use the workout equipment and machines?

I am not sure in CE who to call which is why I am writing the Commander's Action Line. I hope you can help the director of the CDC come to a solution on this and keep a safe environment for our children to play in.

Thank you very much for your time.

Col. Mark Weatherington
Col. Mark
Regarding the pothole, a temporary (cold) should be in place now. Full repair will occur this summer; we schedule all asphalt patch work in a block so we can bring in hot mix asphalt at one time.

Nonappropriated Fund (NAF) employees staff our swimming pool--and non-appropriated fund activities must generate revenue. Active Duty military are authorized free lap swim for physical fitness purposes, remaining pool users are charged a fee to help offset the labor cost. If you anticipate using the pool for an extended period of time, I recommend you purchase the $27.00 season pass--a 90-day pool pass that equates to 30 cents a day. If you are a Dakota's Club member, you get a 10% discount. You might also consider the recently released PLAYpass discount card. With PLAYpass, your pool fees (as well as fees for other programs) could be reduced or even eliminated, provided you meet certain qualifications. Please contact Airman & Family Services at 385-4663 if you have questions on PLAYpass eligibility.

As you know, needed repair will keep the outdoor pool closed over the summer, so we extended our indoor pool hours to compensate. Thanks for your interest in our aquatics facilities--you can catch me lap swimming there during the week.