Vandergrift seeks loan to keep its pool open this summer
A chronic problem with the Vandergrift pool is prompting council to apply for an $80,000 loan to buy a pool liner.
Councilman Pete Basile, the recreation committee chairman, pleaded with his council colleagues to take some action to keep the borough-owned Joseph A. Petrarca Veterans Memorial Pool running with summer approaching.
Basile said the pool needs a liner to prevent the bottom of the pool, in particular, from falling into disrepair. He said that, every year, he and volunteers spend hours repairing cracks and divots in the pool’s floor and walls and then paint it.
“Two months into the season it looks like we didn’t do anything,” Basile said.
The constant exposure to water results in the old damage reappearing along with new cracks and chips in the concrete. In addition to the pool losing water, it becomes a health and safety issue because people using the pool wind up getting cuts on their feet or legs and blood being discharged into the water, he said.
“It (a liner) seals the leaks with the pool, which we’ve had forever and ever, and it will stop the coping around the top of the pool from cracking and falling off,” Basile said.
He said he obtained two quotes for pool liners, one for $80,000 and another for $105,000.
According to Basile, state Rep. Joe Petrarca, D-Washington Township, has been working to secure a grant for the pool from the state Department of Community and Economic Development, but it is not certain if or when that grant may come.
“I’m going to make a request that we get a loan for $80,000 for the pool,” Basile said.
Last summer, he said the pool enjoyed a good season and made money for the borough.
But if something isn’t done, Basile said it might be better to close the pool and wait for the state grant.
Council authorized Borough Manager Steve DelleDonne to apply for an $80,000 loan through First Commonwealth Bank, which provided a previous recreation loan to the borough.
It also instructed Borough Engineer Lucien Bove to draw up specifications to advertise for bids on the pool liner.
Meanwhile, Basile encouraged fellow council members and volunteers from the public to join him in helping get the pool property into shape.
“There’s a lot of work to do up there,” he said.
Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .