POOL DISCUSSED — Toronto Council learned of repairs needed at the city’s swimming pool during Monday night’s meeting. — Warren Scott
TORONTO — While summer is still months away, city officials are looking at things needed to prepare the Toronto War Memorial Pool for its opening.
Terry Cattrell, the pool’s manager, told council he and his staff were able to see its aging main pump through last summer but it must be replaced before the new season begins on May 25.
He said the pool and its splash pad have attracted many families, including patrons from outside the city.
Cattrell said pending suitable weather, he hopes to repaint the pool before that date but will at least patch and caulk it while he’s also made plans to sandblast and powder coat the diving boards.
He suggested a new handicap accessible ramp to the pool, saying the current one is in a high-traffic area. Cattrell also asked council to consider raises for lifeguards and other summer help to be competitive with those of other area pools.
He noted applications for the summer positions will be available at Toronto High School.
Cattrell said he and staff member Pete Gulczynski have repaired filters for the pool themselves.
He encouraged council members to visit the pool in the near future to learn of measures he and his staff have taken to save the city money.
City Services Director Linda Burkey confirmed the work by Cattrell and Gulczynski meant significant savings for the city while noting an independent contractor is slated to replace the pump in early to mid-May.
Councilman at large Michael Burkey, who chairs the city’s finance committee, said the leaking roof of the pool house also must be replaced. He suggested bids could be sought at the same time for it and the handicap accessible ramp.
Burkey said the number of summer employees was cut last year to allow for higher wages for those hired, but raises could be considered again.
He and other council members applauded Cattrell for his efforts.
In other business, council:
• Granted requests for $9,000 each from the Sunrise Seniors and Toronto Senior Citizens Club, two groups that meet at the Karaffa Recreation Center and for activities elsewhere; and $2,000 from the Toronto Beautification Committee, the volunteer group responsible for the flowers and other decorative features at the north and south entrances to the city, the Gazebo Commons and other areas.
• Established a line item for insurance and bonding for the Knoxville fire station, its vehicles and their drivers, an amount estimated at $10,000.
Because of a lack of manpower, the former Knoxville Volunteer Fire Department was merged with the city’s fire department last year.
• Adopted a resolution expressing sympathy to the family of Bill Wickham, a former electrician for the city who died on Jan. 26 at the age of 72.
Council President Frank McEwen noted Wickham was employed by the city for about 15 years in the 1980s and 90s and often lent his skills to it afterwards.
“He would do anything for anybody. He’s truly missed,” said McEwen, who noted Wickham also worked for Weirton Steel Corp. and aided Starr’s Towing Service.
Mayor John Parker said, “He was a happy-go-lucky guy, always in a good mood.”
• Announced its next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Municipal Building.