By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
MELVINDALE – Plumbing problems caused by inadequate decommissioning and pool facilities upgrades needed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act are the latest challenges faced by the Save the Pool volunteers.
Volunteer Dennis Walker said at a pool update meeting June 7 that plumbers have been through the pool facilities to determine what parts need replacement, a situation exacerbated by the way the pool was shut down three years ago and a lack of maintenance since then.
“They didn’t winterize anything so it all got messed up,” volunteer Jeanine Walker said, “and once you shut down like that, and then completely bring it up again, then you have to meet current standards.”
Dennis Walker said the locker room faucets, sinks and toilets do not comply with ADA Act standards, and the extended pool closure left the existing equipment ineligible to be grandfathered in.
Public accommodations that undergo modification must remove architectural barriers in existing facilities, and people with disabilities must have a way to enter and exit swimming pools.
He said the plumbers have donated their time, but plumbing fixtures will be a big cost.
Volunteer John Barnett said the plumbers should have a price list of the parts needed to them by the end of the week.
“From what we understand, they are going to have to redo the entire plumbing system in the pool house,” Barnett said.
Dennis Walker said Aquatic Source, a pool company based in Commerce Township, would be on site June 9 for pressure testing.
Once they have the prices for the plumbing and the results of the pressure testing, the group will have a better idea of the status of the pool reopening.
Walker said the group asked Mayor Stacy Striz to request workers fulfilling community service hours through the court to help with the cleaning of the pool facilities.
He said donations have reached about $30,000 to date, excluding a $10,000 commitment from the Melvindale Downtown Development Authority that is not yet on the books.
Walker said a new ADA-compliant pool wheelchair lift would cost $75,000, but the group hopes to buy a used lift from a group that had to close its pool.
The police department collecting for the pool at intersections raised more than $6,300 the last two weekends of May.
Walker said the custodians at Allendale Elementary, 3201 Oakwood, raised $250 collecting from parents dropping their children off at school, and students at the high school have tentative plans for a car wash fundraiser.
He said Field House Director Jake Wolan was at the pool the last year it was open, and knows how to get lifeguards and how many will be needed.
Councilman Wheeler Marsee said the task to get the pool reopened has been far greater than any of them anticipated in the beginning.
“I was waiting for the water to come on so we could do some of the cleanup, power-washing, painting, stuff of that nature,” Marsee said. “I went over to see how bad the water was, took a plumber over there, and there are major water leaks, major issues over there.”
“Save the Pool” donation canisters are in local stores. Paypal donations may be sent to [email protected] Checks made out to City of Melvindale “Save the Pool” may be sent to City Hall, 3100 Oakwood Blvd., Melvindale, MI, 48122.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected])