Vergennes’ East Street pool is finally inspected

VERGENNES — City Manager Mel Hawley told the Vergennes City Council at its meeting last week that the long-awaited — and long-demanded by a number of residents — inspection of the city’s East Street swimming pool was completed earlier in October, with the facility generally getting passing grades.
Steve Biernacki of Aquatic Development Group of Cohoes, N.Y., looked at the pool along with Hawley, pool manager Brad Castillo and others for about two and a half hours.
Hawley said he found the exercise to be helpful, although the full report will probably not be available until mid-November.
“This guy is sharp. He knows pools,” he said. “It was really beneficial to listen to him.”
Overall, Hawley said at the Tuesday council meeting that Biernacki viewed the city pool favorably. 
“He was very impressed with the condition of the pool, knowing it was 50 years old,” he said.
Hawley was asked during a Thursday interview if Biernacki had identified any significant structural issues while viewing the pool, which had been drained to allow a crucial valve to be replaced.
“I’d rather just let the report speak for itself when it gets here,” Hawley said of a document the council recently voted to spend $4,000 to obtain, at least in part at the urging of some residents in the past year.
At the meeting and on Thursday, Hawley said Biernacki’s comments included:
•  Pool chemicals should be stored separately from swim team equipment, an issue Hawley said he had been concerned about.
•  Additional signs should be added along the side of the pool to indicate its depth at various points, a move that would enhance safety.
•  Work done to patch gunite on the pool walls was acceptable, but Biernacki would sent along other methods to consider.
•  Biernacki would send along advice on how to clean and prevent further calcium deposits that have built up along underwater lane lines and end-of-pool lines. Hawley said that advice could include adjusting the pool’s winter water level.
Overall, Hawley said, he is “anxious to get this report” and use it to focus the city’s efforts to maintain the pool.
Hawley added that a fall project to resurface the tennis courts near the pool has been completed, including crack filling, and that the bulk of the resurfacing work would be done in the spring.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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