Melrose seeks to open pool by August

Lee Rittenhouse of Edgewood-based PoolPro LLC works on a fence at the Geo P. Baxter Memorial swimming pool Tuesday morning in Melrose. The city was granted more than $100,000 by state the last two years for repairs. (CNJ staff photo: Andrew Chavez)

By Eric Butler: CNJ Correspondent

Sweltering children in Melrose, longing to dip into some cool water on a hot summer’s day, might not languish for much longer.

Repairs on the city pool began last week and hopes are high that a permit can be issued, once the needed improvements are made, so that it can be reopened in the early part of August.

“Our plans are for it to be done by the first week of August and open immediately,” said Melrose City Councilman Lance Pyle. “Our hardest step then is to get enough lifeguards.”

The pool was last open at the end of the summer of 2003. When the city readied for another season of swimming in 2004, the pool didn’t meet state specifications, according to Pyle.

“We could not open it, because it could not meet the environmental standards,” he said. “There were several things we had to do. For example, we had to have two main drains.”

State legislature capital outlays totaling $105,000 the last two years will cover the estimated $102,000 cost to meet the state standards.

PoolPro LLC, of Edgewood began working on the pool just after the Independence Day weekend. The pool is located just north of the city’s Baxter Memorial Park.

The city of Melrose is celebrating its 100th anniversary Aug. 13 beginning with the annual Old Timer’s Day festivities.
Pyle, and others, would like to see the pool functioning in time for that landmark occasion.

“That’s the goal. I guess getting the pool open is a real important thing,” said Karen Fausnaugh, co-owner of PoolPro LLC. “We’re going to work as hard as we can to meet that deadline. The thing I’m worried about right now is the weather.”

In the past, when the pool was operating, it would be closed shortly afterward as Melrose children returned to school.
Pyle would like to see the pool stay open longer.

“The usual closing time was right after Old Timer’s Day,” Pyle said. “I’m going to request that we keep it open until the weather gets cold. I think it’s important for the kids to have something to do after school and on the weekend.”