City pool moving toward May 29 opening date

Monday, May 10, 2021
Banner Graphic/ERIC BERNSEE

With the summer swim season now less than three weeks away, it’s apparently all systems go for the Greencastle Aquatic Center.

Although never actually addressing the status of the 2021 pool season at its final meeting before the May 29 opening, the Park Director Rod Weinschenk and Park Board dropped plenty of big hints.

The pool is full of water, awaiting testing, while construction of two new slides, a drop slide and a renovated bathhouse are now complete, three play structures will be installed in the shallow end May 17 and a new roof on the bathhouse was finished recently.

You might say, there wasn’t a discouraging word uttered all night.

Thus, the Park Department is proceeding as if there will be a normal pool season this year after canceling all of 2020 because of COVID-19.

The 2021 season is set to begin on Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 29 and run through Sunday, Aug. 8. Open swim is scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. daily with twilight swim 5-7 p.m.

One possible obstacle to opening on time has been averted. One of the pumps needed to be replaced, Weinschenk told the board.

Spear Corp., Roachdale, was able to replace the pump, motor and impeller at a cost of $12,000.

Noting that such equipment normally last 4-5 years, “we got 27 years out of it,” Weinschenk said, “so I think we got our money’s worth.”

“Right now we’re filtering and introducing chemicals into the pool,” Weinschenk added.

The Park Board also added an item to the concession stand menu and approved the list of summer help.

The board approved the addition of Kona Ice to its concession offerings in what board member Pete Meyer called “a win-win” situation after learning it would be no cost to the pool operations or to the city, which will receive 20 percent of the sales of the icy treat.

Kona plans to hire local people to work the mini-unit. It will reimburse the city for electricity costs.

The Kona contract, from May 10-October, is subject to City Attorney Laurie Hardwick’s approval.

New concessions manager Joanna Muncie noted that she has no intention of handling anything that would go with ice. She said the plan is to “keep it simple” with candy bars, hotdogs, pretzels and the like.

Besides Muncie, other summer employees approved for the park and pool are:

• SPARK director -- Melanie Cope.

• SPARK leaders -- Jennifer Gambill, Porchea Evans and Morgan Simpson.

• Aquatic center front desk/concessions -- Savannah Edwards, Hope Taylor, Madison Williams, Marleah Muncie, Harris Weltz, Lauren Elam and Kaitlyn Dibble.

• Maintenance -- Trace Thomas, Corbin Friedman and Adam Ammons.

• Assistant Manager -- Nick Young.

• Lifeguards -- Zoe Weltz, Samantha Jones, Allyssa Menke, Keira Wells, Paige Kaiser, Emma Huber, Michael Stewart, Olivia Headley, Abigail Beauchamp, Kylie Flint, Gillian Jones, Eli Hardwick, Clayton McKinney, Karl Egold, Carly Simmons, Gillian Monnett and Jayln Doss.

More summer seasonal help is expected, Weinschenk said, as he is awaiting completion of paperwork by several lifeguard candidates. While 17 guards have been hired so far, he expects to hire 22, jumping from 18 guards in 2019 to 22 because of the new slide additions.

The board also agreed to purchase replacement canopies from Anchor Industries, Evansville, for two Funbrellas at the pool. The cost is $1,800 apiece. The colors will be red and white to match the roof of the shelter as the nearby splashpark.

While the city pool will have new slides and other new aquatic amenities when it opens this summer, but admission prices will remain.

During its April meeting, the Park Board voted unanimously to keep admission prices stable, which means the daily admission fee for everyone age five and over will continue at $5, while youngsters age four and under are admitted free of charge. Twilight swim (5-7 p.m. only) admission will remain at $3.

Pool admission of $5 has remained that way for nine years since the price rose from $3 in 2012, increasing the city pool entrance fee for only the third time since it opened nearly 30 years ago.

In other business, the board:

• Gave permission to Evan Harris to paint a mural on the back of the softball field concession stand as his Eagle Scout project. The mural will feature a paper airplane, blue sky and green grass to blend in with the park

Weinschenk asked to see a rendering of the mural before painting begins.

• Approved use of Big Walnut Sports Park for the 5K Wounded Warrior Run Saturday, May 22 starting somewhere around 9-11 a.m., according to organizer Matthew Watson of the “running for heroes” fundraiser.

• Approved First Baptist Church to have June 20 activities in Robe-Ann Park, using the bandshell and shelter No. 1 for community church from 9 a.m.-noon. The church also will rent the pool sometime in mid July and make it open to the public for free swimming from 7-9 p.m.

• Approved use of Big Walnut Sports Park for an Oct. 2 Pink Out 5K sponsored by Putnam County Hospital. Registration is at 8 a.m. with the run/walk starting at 9:30.

• Approved use of the pickleball courts for a Quick Start Tennis Clinic for a $300 fee. The clinic, designed for younger children, is scheduled June 14-July 22, 9-10 a.m. on Monday and Thursday with the courts reserved 8-10:30.

• Gave Julie Carr of A Kinetic Change permission to use part of the Albin Pond Pathway for the annual CARR 5K event set for 6 p.m. Saturday, June 12, beginning at Deer Meadow School.

• Agreed to conduct a public hearing on grant funding for Robe-Ann Park improvements May 26 or May 27 at a time and location to be determined.

The next regular session of the Greencastle Park Board is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 2 at City Hall.

Joining Park Board President Cathy Merrell and members Muncie and Meyer for the May meeting was member Tim Trigg, along with Park Director Weinschenk, Assistant Director Chrysta Snellenberger and Park Maintenance Director David Bault.

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