Archive for Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Maintenance problems cause Baldwin pool to close doors for summer

August 21, 2002

The Baldwin City Public Pool is closed for the summer three weekends earlier than planned.

Baldwin City Recreation Commission Director Monte Ezell told the Baldwin City Council Monday that the main pump at the pool, which circulates the water, had broken.

"The logistics of trying to get it replaced and put back together is not cost effective," Ezell said. "We can't see spending money to pump 275,000 gallons back into the pool for two weekends."

The pool was scheduled to only be open during the weekends through Labor Day since school had started. But he said because of the problems, three weekends were effected, including Labor Day weekend.

"That's the best we could do," he said.

BCRC Assistant Director Debbie Schmidt said the staff apologizes for having to cut the 90-day swim season short.

"We just hate to do that," Schmidt said. "We think we've had a great summer and everything had gone really smooth until this mechanical problem. But sometimes it just happens."

Council Member Ken Wagner wanted to know why there were mechanical problems with a swimming pool that opened in 1999.

"Why would a $10,000 pump that's three years old corrode like that?" he said. "To me, the life expectancy of a pump should be more than that."

Council Member George McCrary said it was not uncommon for pumps in pools to corrode.

"The chlorine in the water is a highly corrosive agent. It's just a highly corrosive water we're running through there," McCrary said. "To think we can get five years out of a pump without rebuilding it or doing maintenance is unrealistic."

Assistant Utility Director Bill Winegar said city staff was still looking into what caused the pump to break.

"We're waiting on evaluations of what might have caused the problems," Winegar said. "Right now, it's premature to make a guess."

The city is also trying to avoid future problems and is in the process of contacting area pools to find out the kind of pumps they use.

A Tuesday BCRC press release said those who purchased pool passes will be reimbursed. The reimbursement will be pro-rated for the eight days the pool was scheduled to be open.

Reimbursement checks can be picked up at the BCRC office, 820 High St., between 1 and 4:30 p.m. daily. Reimbursements can also be credited toward future BCRC programs before the start of the 2003 pool season.

Wagner said reimbursement was the right thing to do.

"There are a lot of people in town who are upset over that deal," he said. "I can certainly understand why people would be upset with it."

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