By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
MELVINDALE – Volunteers are eager to make a splash with residents this summer by reopening the city pool, but they may be in over their heads financially as new costs come to the surface.
Dennis Walker of Melvindale said May 7 that the latest challenge the volunteers determined to reopen the pool discovered is the need for a new $60,000 pool liner.
Another cost will be a required automatic lift for pool access for people with disabilities. Walker said the pool formerly had a hand cranked lift.
The pool has been closed the past two summers.
Walker said the liner bubbled up and water got behind it, and it has pulled away from the pool wall.
He said that on April 26 volunteers painted one side of the locker room, but they need to get a plumber in to do some work before they paint any additional sections.
On May 7 Goch and Sons Towing volunteered to help remove the cover from the pool.
Sean Briscoe of Melvindale, who works for Goch and Sons, said that without a tow truck they wouldn’t have been able to get the nearly 2,000-pound cover off the pool.
“I hope they get kids in here to have fun,” Briscoe said.
Dearborn firefighters arrived with a rig and hoses to clean off the pool cover with high pressure water hoses.
Work began to drain the pool with pumps hired from Michael McMaster of Trenton.
McMaster said he hopes to see children enjoying the pool this summer.
“It seems like it would be a nice facility and a nice thing for the community,” McMaster said. “If they can get it open, that would be great.”
Solicitation for donations from local businesses was slated to begin May 9, Walker said.
Volunteer Peggy Kempton of Allen Park said letters have been sent to Melvindale addresses asking for $20 donations from each household, and donation jars are located throughout the city.
Kempton said she would like to see swimming classes and parties at the city pool, and it is sad to see it in disrepair.
“When it was up and running, years ago, it was nice,” Kempton said. “Now they don’t have anywhere to come. It’s disappointing, but to see it progressing is valuable.”
People wishing to donate money or time should contact Dennis Walker or John Barnett through Melvindale City Hall, 313-429-1040, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)