Supervisor: Pool features will be ‘huge investment to community’

The wading pool in Loyalsock Township will see major improvements including the installation of six water features with a supervisors’ approval Tuesday.

The awarding of a $202,000 base bid wraps up a preliminary process that lasted three years. But during that wait, the township cut the base bid nearly in half by doing much of the needed work itself. The previous bid was $384,000.

The supervisors Tuesday chose to invest nearly $40,000 more on the project to include six water features that would’ve been put in over time, rather than up front.

By agreeing to install the features in one effort, the township will solicit donations after construction in the fall rather than waiting, potentially, years for donations to come.

“My fear with putting the features in over time is that we complete the wading pool, put in the plumbing but without putting in the features … how do you test it?” said Bill Burdett, township manager. “We could go out and get the money after and put in one or two that work, but what if (years later) one doesn’t? I would rather have it all hooked up and have things done.”

Using money from a $10,000 grant and the $175,000 in a finance committee pool fund, the project won’t affect the general budget, Burdett said.

Money made from seasonal passes, costing about $150 each, won’t pay back the investment into the wading pool.

“So we are making a decision that is enhancing the lifestyle of residents,” Supervisor Marc Sortman said. “This is a huge investment to the community. I just want to make sure we all realize that.”

Sortman raised the question of how sustainable the pool would be going into the future.

“I think these features will define the future of the pool,” Burdett said, “and, over time, make it more sustainable.”

In other business, the supervisors approved to hire Larson Design Group to engineer the township’s plan to cut pollution by 10 percent over the next five years.

Referred to as the Chesapeake Bay Pollution Reduction Plan, the requirement also was placed on Williamsport, DuBoistown and Hepburn and Old Lycoming townships by the state Department of Environmental Protection. But DEP doesn’t specify how each municipality should go about it.

Earlier this month, Loyalsock Township entered into an understanding with the city to join together and split the cost of hiring an engineer.

Since then, an interviewing team, including the city’s engineer and members of the sanitary authority, spoke with four engineers at costs for each ranging between $26,000 to $73,000.

The total $26,770 will be split 50/50 — costing both the city and township each about $13,385.

Like the wading pool, the cost of the project was anticipated and won’t impact the general budget, Burdett said.

Voting to approve all actions were John Bower Jr., Marc Sortman, Rick Wheeland and Virginia Eaton. Paul Nyman was absent.

The supervisors will meet next at 7:30 p.m. Feb.13 at the township building, 2501 E. Third St.