Pool Problems Continue To Worry Officials

Filters on the pool in Benwood City Park aren’t working properly, causing frequent cleaning of the pool and a loss of water, Benwood City Council members learned Tuesday night.

“We backwashed the pool seven times today,” said Jon Howard, public works coordinator, describing the cleaning process in which crews release and replace some of the water. He noted the pool is 40 years old, and said, “We’ve never had this problem.”

Benwood officials invested about $42,000 in the pool this year to install two new sliding boards, a 12-foot diving board, a 3-foot diving board and a rock wall. The filters that are quickly filling with magnesium also are new, Howard said.

Attendance has been very good at the pool so far this summer following the upgrades, and Mayor Ed Kuca noted the pool remains open despite the problems with its filters. City workers have been working on it while it is in operation.

Council agreed to have an expert – Bob Games of Washington Lands – come in today to examine the pool and determine if a change in pool procedures might alleviate the problems with the filters.

“We have to backwash so often, and every time we do we lose water,” Kuca said. “It’s unusual, so that is why we are calling in a professional.”

A second problem to be addressed involves the pool’s boiler, which has been kicking off while in use. Council agreed Tuesday night to purchase a new boiler, which Howard estimated could cost less than $1,000.

The pool’s gutter system is made of black iron steel and also is showing wear and tear, Kuca said. He added that when the pool closes on Aug. 18, a contractor will be called in to repair the gutter system.

In other matters, council held a public hearing pertaining to the placement of a sidewalk around the property of Nick Szymialis on Sixth Street. Council members indicated they had been warning Szymialis for a number of months about the condition of the property, and he has been cited on a number of occasions and told to clean it up.

City Attorney Eric Gordon said the estimated price for placement of the sidewalk came in at about $6,900. He told Szymialis that while the city would pay the upfront costs, he would be responsible for reimbursing the city for the sidewalk.

Council passed a motion establishing that Szymialis make monthly payments over the next seven years to Benwood at 5 percent interest. The amount of the individual payments will be determined once final cost of the sidewalk is set.

“And you are not to set any flower pots or anything else on it,” Police Chief Frank Longwell told him.