Committee wants to save pool

NILES — A park and recreation committee with the message ”Save Our Pool” wants to use a $67,500 Ohio Department of Natural Resources grant to make needed repairs to reopen the swimming pool at Waddell Park.

More than 40 residents, and some city officials, gathered July 18 at the Niles American Legion Hall to discuss what needs to be done at the pool and the pool house building, which has been closed and drained for the past four summers.

Aimee Cantola, a committee member, said the grant was received last year to renovate the pool and must be used by June 2018 or it will be lost. She said plans may include applying for another grant if there are additional costs beyond the $67,500.

”Now is the time to start fixing and making the repairs to the pool. We need to see if the repairs are more than the $67,000. We want to work with the city and fix what we can now,” she said.

The committee can apply for more repair dollars every two years. They also said they would like to use a parks and recreation levy that’s already been passed to help pay for day-to-day pool operations.

She said various work needs to be done, including roof work, concrete, fencing, electrical, plumbing and restroom repairs. Estimates for the roof work alone are $30,000. The committee also was told a new pool would cost $1.8 million to build. The current pool opened in the early 1930s.

Cantola said local businesses have offered their time to help make repairs at no cost.

Kelly Hall, a committee member, said the committee spoke with Robert Burke, Youngstown parks and recreation director, about the costs to run the Northside pool on Belmont Avenue in Youngstown.

The committee received an invitation from Burke to attend an Aug. 3 event at the Arlington Heights recreation center, 903 Otis St., where they will learn of recreation programs and also see the pool.

”If the pool were open, people say they would be there. People use the wellness center and can also use the pool next to it,” Cantola said.

Service Director Ed Stredney, who attended the meeting, said the last time extensive upgrade work was done on the pool building was in 1985. He said restrooms at the pool would need to be made Americans With Disabilities Act compliant, which he estimates could be as high as $70,000.