Tonawanda News


July 2, 2014

Memorial Pool remains closed after fire

Tonawanda News — Swimming lessons have been shifted to the North Tonawanda High School and the Raindrop Wading Pool has been reopened but an electrical fire at the Payne Park Memorial Pool will keep the masses from cooling off there at least through Friday. 

With temperatures reaching the high 80s and humidity levels adding to that discomfort, the more than 300 people who visit city pools each day will have to wait a bit longer. But officials say they are working to resolve the problem by week’s end. 

”It sounds very promising that they’ll be opening soon,” said Pamela Hogan, recreation and senior center supervisor. “But I really can’t put a time or date on it until there’s a proper evaluation.” 

However, Mayor Rob Ortt said the city is pushing hard to get the pool open by July 4. A city electrician and National Grid representatives are still working on resolving the pool’s trashed circuitry, caused by the electrical fire, with a price tag of $9,300. 

Hogan said the good news is that the city was able to get the smaller wading pool open by Saturday, after officials originally suspected it too would remain closed for much of this week. She also credited the lifeguards on duty, who quickly evacuated about 150 people who were at the pool on Friday. 

”Everyone was out in about 45 seconds,” she said. “They did a fabulous job.” 

The lifeguards also took to the phones, contacting about 120 families Friday evening whose children were participating in swimming lessons to tell them Monday’s lessons would be cancelled. They called the same families again on Monday to inform them that lessons would pick up again on Tuesday at the high school. 

”When the fire happened and everything settled down I sent our staff over to retrieve files of all those registered for swimming lessons,” Hogan said. “I had my lifeguards call each household to tell  them the lessons were cancelled on Monday. And the school was nice enough to let us use the pool.” 

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