Tonawanda News — Payne Park Memorial Pool will be reopening today after officials expeditiously pushed to repair damage caused by an electrical fire last Friday.
The fire took place just hours after the pool opened for the sumer season and amid high temperatures and humidity. Days earlier officials lauded the return of a newly-refurbished water slide that had largely been completed in-house as a cost-savings measure.
Mayor Rob Ortt said on Wednesday that all the necessary repairs have been made to the electrical system by two local companies, Wire Electric and Jameson Electric, along with city electricians.
Additionally, according to the city's Parks and Recreation Director Patty Brosius, swimming lessons that had moved to the North Tonawanda High School for several days this week will pick up at Memorial Pool again on Friday. Brosius said besides the damaged electrical system in the pool's utility room, little else was effected.
"We're just happy that everything was done quickly," she said.
Ortt credited the fast-thinking, well-trained, on-duty lifeguards with moving roughly 150 individuals from the pool area within 45 seconds. The fire was quickly blunted by a fireman using an extinguisher. While the fire didn't appear to be an immediate threat to the safety of the pool patrons, it did show that the training exercise worked.
"I would like to thank the lifeguards, staff and firefighters for their quick and professional response," he said.
The pool, constructed in 1947 and named for those who fought in World War II, still draws between 10,000 and 12,000 individuals each year.
"I am pleased that the work was completed prior to the Fourth of July holiday," Ortt added.
Now that it is back up and running regular hours will ensue for "open swim," which takes place from 1:15 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m Monday through Saturday. Both the Memorial Pool and Raindrop Pool are closed on Sundays.