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Rain flooded city pool equipment

By JOHN WALKER - jwalker@shelbynews.com

Pumps at the Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center, the city’s public pool, went for a swim during recent rain storms.

Tricia Tackett, recreation director for the Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department, reported to the parks board of directors that rain on April 3 overwhelmed the pumps.

“They couldn’t keep up,” she said.

The department was going to file a claim with the city’s insurance company through the human resources office to cover the cost, Tackett said.

After review, the city decided to go ahead and do the work in house. Employees of the city’s Water Resource Recovery Facility did the work to save money, and the cost to fix the five pumps totaled $2,327, said Jody Branum, human resources director for the city.

Karen Martin, director of the parks department, said after the meeting the pumps are due to be fixed by today.

Meanwhile, weather is delaying other work on the pool, located at 101 McKinley St. 

Tiles on the pool floor need to be replaced, but it’s been too cold and wet to get started, said Terry Pierce, the parks department’s maintenance supervisor.

“The pool floor’s not been touched,” he said at the parks board meeting late Wednesday afternoon.

In addition, work needs to be done to fix leaking around the slide at the pool and there is painting to be done. 

In February, the Shelbyville Common Council approved making the roughly $90,000 in the city’s pool replacement fund available to spend on the repair work.

And because the pool is technically a water park, the lifeguards working there have to be trained at the Meridian Park facility itself. They cannot be certified at a different pool, Martin said.

Normally, filling the pool begins on May 1 but that is in question because of the weather and related issues. 

Despite the challenges, Martin said she’s confident the pool will open as scheduled on May 27.

In related preparation for warm weather, work needs to be done on the splash pad, a water spout installation at Blue River Memorial Park, 725 Lee Blvd.

Martin said a return pipe that sends recaptured water back to be pumped out of the spout again is too small, and the inadequate flow causes the spout to shut off.

In other matters, the parks board:

n Approved allowing Martin to go ahead with selecting a vendor to do weed control and fertilizer work at the athletic field on Hoover Avenue between South West and Meridian Streets if the quotes come in under budget;

n Will look into getting a debit card machine for the city pool because a number of patrons don’t carry cash;

n Heard that lightning during the April 3 rainstorm damaged a total of five posts on the elevated boardwalk that leads from Lee Boulevard down into Blue River Memorial Park, but the boardwalk is structurally sound.

Trail ribbon cutting today

Mayor Tom DeBaun and others are scheduled to dedicate the city’s new bike-pedestrian trail at 3 p.m. this afternoon.

The ceremony is to take place at Blue River Memorial Park, 723 Lee Blvd., at the elevated boardwalk that leads down into the park. 

Members of the public are invited to attend the ceremony.

If driving, guests may use the Morris Avenue entrance to Blue River Memorial Park and park at the main lot and walk to the site.

Shuttles will be available to ferry those who need a lift to the boardwalk.

There is no parking on Lee Boulevard.