The city has decided to close the Memorial Park Pool for the spring and summer recreational season and is reviewing options whether it will be renovated in the future.
Mayor Gabriel J. Campana said Wednesday that he made the decision following a meeting with his department heads and a review of the city's pool feasibility study that examines the needs of three city-operated pools: East End, Brandon Park (Showers Estate) and Memorial Park.
The Memorial Park Pool, which is near Bowman Field along West Fourth Street, has sustained a tear in the liner and is considered unsafe for operations this swim season, Campana said.
City Mayor Gabriel J. Campana has decided to close Memorial Park Pool, which has a tear in its liner. Whether it will reopen will be determined later.
SUN-GAZETTE FILE PHOTO
Katey Schneck, of Cogan Station, left; Eddie Banks; and Jenna Kost, both of Williamsport, wrestle for a beach ball while swimming at the Memorial Park Pool in June 2006. The pool will not open for this spring or summer season.
That leaves the two other city-operated pools open to swimming. The city Streets and Parks Department will work to get them ready for typical Memorial Day openings.
Children under age 10 get into the Brandon Park facility free of charge, Campana said.
He said the city is facing a decision on its aging aquatic facilities, most of them built in the 1960s. Estimates to repair a torn liner at the Memorial Park Pool have been presented to the city officials at $500,000, Campana said.
"I am not going to have the city borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars to get that pool operational," he said.
The city has done a pool feasibility study that is completed and in the hands of the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, said John Grado, city engineer and director of Community and Economic Development.
The budget for this year reflects two operational pools. The administration and City Council will decide which pool is to be renovated and how it will be done.
If the Memorial Park Pool is to be renovated, the option might be closing the East End Pool, Grado said. "That decision has not been made."
The pool feasibility study indicates it costs an estimated $5 million to build a new pool and bath house for a small aquatic facility, including renovating the site.
For planning purposes, the city included such options in its future capital budget.
Another possible plan to be considered is a spray pool facility that is estimated to cost $800,000. That kind of facility may be built at Brandon Park; however, that pool also needs a lot of work to make it safe.
The Showers Estate funding provides one more year of maintenance and operation of the pool at Brandon Park, Grado said.
Campana said the city will try to get state funding. Efforts are under way to apply with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and other state agencies.
However, securing that funding might be difficult. Gov. Tom Corbett said the state faces a $500 million shortfall.
All of these decisions come without the city having hired a recreational director. Interviews for the budgeted position will be done shortly, according to Campana.