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Salem pool gets high marks

SALEM — The Salem Parks Commission heard some good news about Centennial Pool Wednesday.

Events like Teen Night, Night Swim and Karaoke Night attracted a lot of kids to the pool this month, plus a company evaluating the pool gave high marks for water quality.

Last summer the pool was closed due to the pandemic, so there was a lot of excitement about this year, with lots of work done to spruce up the pool area and open up a concession stand, which is reportedly bringing in more money than it’s costing.

Recreation Supervisor Amber Smith, who also serves as pool manager, said the last day for the pool this year will be Aug. 24, since Salem schools start the next day. With the success of the special events boasting attendance numbers of 50 to 65 kids, she’s planning another teen night and will hold an end of summer luau Aug. 20. Pool rentals are also up.

Commission Chair John Panezott congratulated Smith on a great job at the pool due to all her hard work.

“I’m really excited our teenagers in Salem have a place to go,” Commission Vice Chair Lucille Karnofel said.

Commission member Lori Colian said it’s nice to hear how many kids are participating, with Smith saying they’re appreciative, respectful and thank her for having the events.

Premier Pool submitted its pool evaluation report, with city Parks Director Shane Franks saying, “I think it’s a good report, very thorough. Money well spent.”

The expenditures approved by the commission included $1,000 to Premier Pools.

Panezott suggested taking care of the simple items, some which have already been done, and then prioritizing the larger items.

The whole idea behind having the report done was to improve pool operations, with the company making minor suggestions for many items and pointing out ways to improve some of the more critical areas or pieces of equipment for the pool.

What Franks took from the report was that “for a pool that’s 70 years old, we’re doing a great job.”

He noted that some items have already been addressed, such as grates, and signage can be done. Some of the other items dealt with equipment, such as a suggestion to install continuous automated disinfectant and PH control and update the chlorine storage tanks.

Something they already knew even without the report is that water is leaking somewhere. He said they could contact a leak detecting company to pinpoint where the leak or leaks might be, agreeing to check on the cost.

Colian said when it comes to prioritizing, the focus should be on areas that are potentially safety-related.

In other business, Franks said there’s still some staining to do on the Swings-N-Things playground, but offered thanks to all the volunteers who helped on the work day they had. A new layer of wood chips was put down, too.

A parent from the United girls tennis team approached Franks about selling pop out of a cooler to other parents at matches held at Centennial Park as a team fundraiser. Franks was asked to contact the coach or school officials to check on the request.

Before the meeting ended, Karnofel asked for an update on the Rotary Park progress because she thought they would be digging by now. Everything is apparently on hold for the permitting process. Howells & Baird was putting together a construction plan.

The next commission meeting will be 5 p.m. Aug. 25 at the parks office on Oak Street.

mgreier@w

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