EAST PALESTINE - With little more than a week before it's opening, Village Council approved some changes for the public pool.
The pool at village park will be offering a new discounted daily rate for senior citizens and a water aerobics class. The class is available as a result of the new aquatics director who was hired earlier this year.
The new daily rate for senior citizens is $3. The previous price was $4. Those eligible for the senior rate must be at least 62 years old.
Regular daily admissions and all other fees will remain the same, with daily rates at $3 for students and $4 for adults. The pool is open seven days a week.
Council members had discussed offering a discounted rate for residents but Councilman Alan Cohen and park employee Dot Herbert balked at the idea.
"We've had this conversation before a number of times and the logistics of figuring out who is a resident and who isn't and identifying the children of schools here but who have parents who live outside of town and do not pay taxes is a nightmare," Herbert said.
Councilman Don Elzer suggested a copy of their water bill would be required to prove residency, but Finance Director Traci Thompson noted sometimes the utility is in a landlord's name.
"There has to be some ways to identify you are from East Palestine," he said.
Councilwoman Endia Wisser also suggested fees for non-residents be increased to make up for the loss in the discount, but Cohen didn't like that idea either.
"I don't think we should be doing anything to scare people away. Rather than choose the higher rate, they will end up someplace else," Cohen said.
Herbert said many people who use the pool are from Pennsylvania.
"We don't want to chase them away," she said.
The discussion ended with no action, meaning the rates will remain the same with the exception of the senior citizen discount and new aerobics class.
In other business, Village Manager Pete Monteleone said Ohio Edison has offered to paint the light poles downtown.
The company will paint the poles at their own expense, and Monteleone said it is a "step in the right direction."
The paint will help improve the appearance of the downtown which is something he has been working on the last few months.
The village only recently had new brown and white signs replace the green street signs through town.
Monteleone said he is still working with Ohio Edison regarding eventually replacing the light poles, which are aging and falling apart.
Two poles have been removed by the company this year because they were posing safety hazards.
Previous estimates for replacement were at more than $200,000, although Monteleone said the company has found 43 poles for roughly $141,000.
Under the contract with the company the poles are owned by Ohio Edison while the village pays a maintenance fee and is responsible for purchasing new ones.
New poles must be approved by the company as well, according to the tariff through the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.