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Recreation board sets aside $20K for pool

Staff writer

Beth Peter, Peabody-Burns Recreation Commission president, Peabody City Council members Monday night that the recreation commission set aside $20,000 for repairs to the Peabody Municipal Pool. The money will come from the 2014 budget.

“That donation is a terrific gift to all the people who use the pool and we certainly appreciate it,” Mayor Larry Larsen said after Peter’s announcement.

Peabody City Council had put repairs to the pool liner on hold after the 2013 swimming season because of budget constraints. The estimate to replace the liner was $28,000. The council hoped to be able to fund a new liner in the 2015 budget.

Mid-way through the past winter, the pool cover seams and grommet fasteners also began giving way and bids for a replacement came in at $8,000, making the total needed for pool repairs $36,000.

Emergency repairs to the liner were made just before the pool opened at a cost of $2,500. A large crack had developed and the pool could not be filled unless it was repaired. The company doing the repair reminded the city that the work was only a temporary fix.

The pool liner is necessary to prevent further cracking and shifting. It stabilizes the aging walls and pool bottom.

Community members and local groups built the pool in 1962 from donations and fundraisers. The Kiwanis Club in Peabody organized the project. It has provided summer activity, swimming lessons, lifesaving training, swim club, and employment opportunities for generations of young people.

Peter said in an interview on Tuesday that the recreation commission wanted to make a significant contribution to the survival of the pool and the programs it provides for the community.

“We talked about this for a long time,” she said. “A new pool would probably cost a couple of million dollars. While we couldn’t do that, we did figure we could help make the one we have last longer.”

Peter, Sheri Lewis, Megan Holt, Angie Brenzikofer, and Darren Schroeder have filled the rec commission board for the past year. Russ Busenitz serves as a paid part-time director.

In other business:

  • Terry Johnson was present to hear the council members’ discussion of adding handicap accessible features to the municipal pool. An ADA compliant portable restroom facility has been delivered to the pool area for the rest of the pool season. City employees are awaiting delivery of materials for a new sidewalk and gate on the east side of pool and expansion of handicap parking in front of the wading pool. Johnson, who uses a wheelchair, also presented some information on the ramp in the men’s shower room.
  • Police Chief Bruce Burke told council members the city had received $10,000 in restitution for charges the city paid for housing an inmate. The funds will go back into the city’s budget item for court expenses.
  • Burke also requested the council consider an issue involving some vehicles he has noticed that belong to people he knows are no longer driving due to age or health issues. Burke asked if such a vehicle has an expired tag or obviously has not moved in a long time, should the owner be cited in the same manner as others in the community? After discussion, Burke was instructed to treat all violators the same.
  • Council members discussed repair to an aging concrete culvert near the corner of 9th St. and Elm St. City Clerk Stephanie Ax was instructed to request bids on the project.
  • Peter announced that to accommodate the many visitors in Peabody for the holiday weekend the pool would be open from 1 to 5 p.m. on July 5. The pool is normally closed on Saturday afternoon.
  • The council approved a request from Peabody Fire Chief Mark Penner to share in the cost of a night’s lodging when a firefighter attends rescue training in Dodge City.

The next council meeting will be at 7 p.m. July 14 in the city building.

Last modified July 2, 2014

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