EVANS CITY — The EDCO Park and Pool Authority says because the safety situation pointed out by the borough council has been eliminated, the pool should open on time this summer. But council still has a few issues it would like to see dealt with before that happens.
Council said at a budget meeting Dec. 11 that it would temporarily close the pool because of safety issues there as well as the pool’s drain on the borough budget.
The two sides met at an authority meeting Dec. 17 to discuss the pool’s operation, condition and finances. Council members said chlorine was stored with gasoline and oil, which creates a volatile situation that could result in an explosion, but the authority members said that situation has been corrected.
The council members also questioned the authority’s financial record-keeping regarding the pool. Council President Kim Armstrong said she has repeatedly asked pool manager and authority board member Cindy Caldwell for a copy of the pool’s annual budget, but has not received a viable document.
John Rogers, authority president, presented Armstrong with a copy of the budget on Monday night.
The council members explained they were left with a messy financial situation by the previous council, and that tough measures must be taken to get the borough’s finances back in line.
Armstrong said because they are an authority, the borough should not fund the pool or park other than to pay its utility bills and insurance per a 1991 agreement between the borough and authority.
On Tuesday, Cindy Caldwell, the pool’s manager and an authority board member, said the 2013 park and pool budget is balanced. She said expenditures total about $50,000.
Regarding revenue, she said $20,300 comes from gate fees and expenditures at the public pool, $10,600 from fundraising, $10,500 from memberships, $7,400 from donations, and $2,200 from pavilion rentals at the adjacent park.
She said the biggest expenditure is payroll at $29,000. The pool employs 12 to 15 people during its three-month season, including lifeguards, the manager and a programs director.
The Evans City Water and Sewer Authority does not charge the park and pool authority for water, and the borough pays about $7,000 annually for utilities used at the pool and park.
Armstrong said the pool is in need of upgrades and cosmetic repairs, and laments the closing of the baby pool a few years back due to a leak in the skimmer system. Armstrong said the authority, not the borough, should pay for those repairs.
“Basically as an authority they should be self-sustaining,” Armstrong said.
Caldwell said the authority got a bid of $30,000 to repair the leak at the baby pool, but additional costs would be incurred to bring it up to Americans With Disabilities Act requirements.
She said the authority also wants the baby pool open, and is looking at alternative measures like redesigning it or decreasing its size.
The two sides clearly disagree on pool growth, as Caldwell said membership was up 35 percent over 2011, but Armstrong said pool use has been declining over the past several years because of pool availability in Cranberry Township and Zelienople.
Rogers said on Tuesday that he is glad the council and authority finally came together, as both learned things about the other they didn’t know.
“I think that meeting helped both parties understand the situation,” Rogers said. “We’re looking forward to working a lot closer with Evans City Borough Council in the future.”