• Last modified 1594 days ago (March 12, 2020)


Pool status worries council

Staff writer

Peabody City Park’s pool is in need of a new lifeguard chair, but the pool itself needs to be fixed first, councilman Jay Gfeller said during Monday’s city meeting.

“I don’t think there’s any reason to buy a lifeguard stand at this point unless we can bring our pool up to a standard of safety to even open,” he said.

Chipping of the pool surface and uneven concrete around it are concerns.

The pool’s surface is a fiberglass overlay, which manager Rachel Wattson said has been chipping away and cutting into children’s feet.

“There’s a ton,” she said. “It’s just coming off now that it’s chipped.”

Concrete in front of the pool’s concession and office needs leveling, especially with the amount of foot traffic that passes through, Wattson said.

“Even if it’s just in front of the office area, that’s the main part,” she said. “When I saw a mom with her baby trip – that was what did it for me.”

Repairs are such a major task that getting multiple expert opinions is very important, councilman Lindsay Hutchison said.

Mayor Tom Spencer presented three possibilities for a new lifeguard chair to replace one of the two old ones, which do not hold their umbrellas properly to provide enough shade.

Options included chair 60-inches high for $1,000, a 40-inch chair for $858, and a 50-inch chair with cup holder and umbrella attachment for $984. Buying the parts to fix the old chairs would cost $1,023, Spencer said.

While they need replacing, one of the old chairs could be fixed using parts from the other and still have value since it stands nearly 70 inches high, Wattson said.

“Just knowing what the view is and safety-wise, the lower we are to the ground, the harder it is to see,” she said. “Especially if there are a bunch of kids in the pool like on July 4. The higher, the better.”

There is frequently mud at the baby pool, and past attempts to push mud out through the drain failed.

The underlying cause is unknown, but using a heavy duty vacuum can at least mitigate the problem, Hutchison said.

“I think a Shop Vac is an easy fix for when we get down to the sludge part,” she said. “It’s temporary, but it’s a $50 fix for right now until we can figure out how to actually fix the problem.”

Hutchison and councilman Alan Gillen will inspect the pool Monday to see how much work is needed.

Wattson hopes to continue as pool manager for the summer but will not be available for as many hours because of family circumstances.

Wattson proposed splitting managerial duties with last year’s head lifeguard. She offered to handle office duties and paperwork.

“I’d love to be there doing those things and be the older adult if you’d prefer that,” Wattson said. “If not that’s totally OK and I understand. I just can’t live at the pool.”

Last modified March 12, 2020