Everyone in the pool: Volunteer help sought in Port Townsend
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
Mountain View Pool Manager Anji Scalf vacuums a vent at the pool in preparation for needed repairs.

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT TOWNSEND — Repair of Mountain View Pool, Port Townsend's only public swimming pool, began last week after the water was drained, and staff members began the monumental task of vacuuming out all the vents and scraping plaster.

“We are going to need volunteers to help remove the liner and to do some painting,” said the pool's manager, Anji Scalf, who is spending her days getting down and dirty in the dry pool.

“Right now, I'm just plugging away, doing the dirty work.”

The pool at 1925 Blaine St. was closed for maintenance Nov. 9.

Plans are to reopen the pool sometime in January, said Rick Sepler, city development director.

During the closure, the Port Townsend Inn, 100 Washington St., has reduced the amount it charges for use of its pool, which is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The motel had been charging the public $7 a visit, but from now until the city pool is reopened, the cost to use the pool is $30 for six visits per person and a liability waiver must be signed, according to staff.

City staff has pointed out the dilapidated state of the 50-year-old Mountain View Pool for several years. Because of a budget shortfall this year, the city did not have the money for the needed repairs.

That changed earlier this month when Jefferson County allocated $150,000 for pool repair from its public infrastructure fund.

This will take care of replacing the liner, replacing the deck with a safer surface, replacing the HVAC system, improving the lighting and completing some needed structural work, Sepler said.

“We are looking to add another 10 years to the life of the pool,” he said.

“With this work, we aren't quite there, but it gets us where we need to be so we can find some alternative funding.”

Sepler said that when the pool was drained, it became apparent how badly the liner had failed, something that was not discernible before.

Left to do is work on the boiler and the ventilation system, Sepler said.

The Port Townsend City Council is expected to put the project out for bid at a meeting today.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in chambers, 504 Water St.

Sepler said that volunteer labor will be essential in completing some of the tasks that a contractor might not be willing to do or would add to the cost of the project, such as removing the liner.

“To do this, you need to scrape the plaster off with a knife,” he said.

“We'll supply the knives, the masks and the goggles.”

The pool renovation is a community effort, Sepler said.

We are all working together here,” he said.

“By coming up with the money, the county looks like heroes, the pool users are wonderful, and everyone is rolling up their sleeves to make this a better place.”

To volunteer to help with the renovation project, phone Scalf at 360-774-6638.

Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at charlie.bermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 18. 2012 6:16PM
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