BURLEY — The city pool at Salmon Park got some big upgrades this winter, and at a good price thanks to help from city workers, officials said.
Plumbing in the floors of the two bathrooms was reworked so the drains function properly and new shower handles were installed that automatically turn off after two minutes, pool manager Trish Hurst said.
“We’d have to go in the bathrooms all the time and move the water with a squeegee so it would drain,” said Hurst, who has managed the pool for the past 16 years.
Some of the most important upgrades will not be visible to swimmers this summer but lie underneath the pool in the control room and tunnels.
Underneath the pool, corroded pipes, electrical boxes and outdated wiring were replaced by the city’s electrical staff and city plumber, Mark C. Moosman.
“Mark was the one who said this stuff needs to be fixed and was not willing to let it go,” Hurst said.
Although repairs were needed in the past, there was just not enough money in the budget to get them accomplished,” Hurst said.
The city, in conjunction with the Oregon Trail Recreation District, did some upgrades to the bathrooms, including the floors and showers, about 10 years ago, City Administrator Mark Mitton said. But drainage continued to be a problem.
Mitton said the costs for the projects this year are expected to in around $10,000 and were greatly reduced by using city employee skills and labor over the winter.
“A lot of the pipes underneath the pool were hanging by baling wire and rope,” Moosman said.
Fifteen of the pool’s 31 jets were clogged, he said. Since they were cleared and the broken ones replaced, the circulation in the pool should be better.
The baby pool has two new heaters and will receive some tile repairs, which are not yet finished.
Two safety showers were also installed in areas where employees work with chemicals.
The pool’s chlorinator and sensor were also revamped, Moosman said.
“A lot of this has needed to be done since I started working here,” Hurst said.
The pool opened in 1953 and much of the electrical wiring and plumbing had not been upgraded.
“Pools, golf courses and parks take maintenance and they are expensive to maintain,” Mitton said.
Pool employee Nicole Cook is helping to remove paint from the inside of the pool so it can be repainted before the pool’s opening on May 28.
Cook, who previously worked for the city’s electrical department as a temporary worker, also helped with electrical wiring.
The big pool will also get two slides: one 5-foot spiral that will be put in the deeper end and a straight slide for the shallow end of the pool.
Hurst said there will still be some needed items at the pool, like new tarps in a couple of years and a bulkhead for the pool, which would make the pool a standard length so it could be used to host swim competitions.
Swimming has become a hugely competitive sport, Hurst said.
A bubble over the pool would also allow it to be used more.
“The swimming pool adds to the quality of life in the city,” Cook said. “It will never be profitable, but it gives kids a place to go that’s a safe environment.”
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