The town of Salina informed residents that none of its four pools would be permanently closed at an informational session at their Nov. 13 board meeting.
Rest assured, the pools aren’t going to close, said First Ward Councilor Paul Carey.
The session was held to educate residents as to the current state of two of the town’s pools, both of which are in need of some repair, and the town’s options concerning that repair.
We’re not here to threaten you with closing the pools, said Second Ward Councilor David Stott. We’re trying to inform and educate the public. We’re facing very serious infrastructure issues, and according to the mandate from last year’s election, a large tax increase is unacceptable.
Supervisor Charles Iavarone assured those in attendance that the rumors that all four pools would be closed were false and any talk of pool closings had been blown way out of proportion.
Electronics Park pool
The first problem area discussed at Monday night’s meeting was the pool at Electronics Park. Town engineer James Trasher advised the board at its last meeting that the pool was showing significant bowing on one side and could not be used safely until the reason for the problem was discovered and repaired. The town authorized the highway department to excavate the area around the damaged wall to determine what was causing that wall to bow inward six to eight inches.
The weld failed in several locations and restabilization is required, Trasher said. We recommend fixing the one wall and securing the pool for the winter.
Trasher estimated that the cost of this option would be somewhere in the $40,000 to $50,000 range.
Parks and Recreation Commissioner James Wemesfelder felt it would be money well spent.
For over 30 years, the pools haven’t cost hardly any maintenance money, Wemesfelder said. Some of the pools, no money has gone into them since they were installed. I recommend we button up the project this fall. I’m confident it will be safe to swim in next year.
Iavarone and the other councilors expressed some concern that a similar problem might occur on the other side, but Trasher felt that the problem was isolated.
I would suggest that you repair the one [damaged] wall and keep an eye on the other side while the repairs are being made, he said. I’d say there’s a very low chance that we have the same problem on that side that we have on the side that’s exposed. Once it’s repaired, I would go in it with my wife and two kids. It’s just a break in the weld [on the damaged side].
The board unanimously approved the repair. It was determined that the money would come from the parks department and the town’s contingency budget.
The problem in Duerr Park is not specifically with the pool, but it could result in the pool’s short-term closure.
At the last meeting, Trasher told the board that the sanitary sewer pump station at Duerr Park, which serves the little league field, the concession stand, the restrooms and the pool, had failed and needed to be replaced.
It was put in 20 years ago, Trasher said. It wasn’t maintained over the years. The county said this year that it needs to be replaced.
Trasher said that the rough cost of this repair would be $100,000. He also told the board that it might behoove them to join the system to a sanitary sewer district that would be maintained by the county.
The board elected to hold off on making a decision until they had more information about joining the sanitary sewer district. The matter was tabled until the next meeting.
Town residents were happy both with the board’s decision and with its candor in holding the information session. Resident Chris Shepherd of Molloy Road said he wouldn’t object to temporarily closing the pools to make necessary repairs.
The money the town spent on the pools 30 years ago was the smartest money the town ever spent, Shepherd said. But things don’t last forever. If it needs to be closed down temporarily for repairs, it’s a reasonable accommodation I think the whole community can live with. It’s an investment we need to keep up.
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.