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Businessman tosses pool a life preserver

| Wednesday, June 15, 2005, 12:00 p.m.

A Mt. Washington businessman said Tuesday that he will donate $30,000 to open the hilltop neighborhood's city pool this summer.

"I was kind of disappointed to see that Mt. Washington wasn't going to have a pool," said Ed Dunlap, owner of the LeMont restaurant in Mt. Washington and chief executive officer of CentiMark Corp., a roofing company based in Canonsburg.

Dunlap, who lives in Upper St. Clair, said the people of Mt. Washington have been good to the upscale Grandview Avenue restaurant he has owned for six years. Having the community's swimming pool open will "get kids off the street corners and in the water" for the summer, he said.

Dunlap's donation will cover the entire operating costs of the pool for the summer.

Newly elected City Councilman Dan Deasy, of nearby Westwood, said he's working with Citiparks Director Duane T. Ashley to try to open the Ream Parklet swimming pool by Friday, along with the 12 pools the strapped city can afford to open.

"Right now, we're just waiting for lifeguards," Deasy said. "It's not going to cost the city a dime." Dunlap said he plans to raise money this summer for future pool maintenance and equipment replacement.

Last summer, a $30,000 donation from former H.J. Heinz Co. executive Paul F. Renne saved the pool from city budget cuts, but it didn't open until August.

The operating budget to open 12 city pools this year is $692,697, not including the Ream pool and Dunlap's donation, according to the Citiparks Department. In 2003, the last year all 31 city pools opened, the budget was $1.54 million.

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