04/15/09 — Peacock pool will not open this year

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Peacock pool will not open this year

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on April 15, 2009 1:46 PM

The Peacock Park swimming pool will not operate this summer, but the Mina Weil Park pool will open as planned, interim Parks and Recreation director Gail Charles said Tuesday at the Parks and Recreation Ad-visory Commission meeting.

The department renegotiated the 2009 operations contract with the Goldsboro Family Y, which runs the city pools during the summer.

The Family Y originally requested a stipend of $15,000 to run both pools this summer and asked to increase fees and cut hours. Under the new agreement, the fees to use the pool will not change, and the city will pay only half the stipend amount originally requested.

"The Y said they would cut the subsidy from $15,000 down to $7,500," Mrs. Charles said.

The city will still be responsible for making any repairs to the Mina Weil pool and for paying the electricity bill, estimated to be about $1,500 for the summer.

Operating only one pool is both a cost-cutting and safety prevention measure, Mrs. Charles said.

While the state would allow the city to operate the Peacock pool this year, it currently does not meet the new federal regulations for public pools stated in the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, she said.

"To meet the criteria, it's going to take about $10,000 worth of changes," Mrs. Charles said.

The work required to bring the Peacock pool into line with regulations will necessitate cutting into the concrete and installing a sump pot. The current draft of the city budget includes an item to pay for the improvements, and it is possible the Peacock pool could open again next summer.

The Mina Weil pool already meets the regulations, although the city will have to switch out the drain covers and pay a swimming pool engineer about $700 to test the drain suction, Mrs. Charles said.

If someone were to be injured as a result of pool maintenance problems, the city could be liable, while liability for issues with lifeguards or other day-to-day operations would fall on the Y, Mrs. Charles said.

"If it's the Y's negligence, they would be sued," she said.

The reworked contract will not pinch an already tight city budget or cut money from other Parks and Recreation summer programs.

"I can take it out of line items, and it won't affect programs," Mrs. Charles said.

Goldsboro is not the only city that will be missing a pool this summer. The town of Mount Olive's swimming pool, owned and operated by the Goldsboro Family Y, also will not open. The Mount Olive pool needs about $100,000 in repairs, and neither the town nor the Family Y has the money to bring the facility in line with the federal safety regulations, officials said.