UPDATED 4:55 p.m. Wednesday.
PAXTON — The opening of the city’s outdoor swimming pool is nearing, but an exact date is still up in the air as officials wait to acquire one last part that will bring it into compliance with state regulations.
Neal McKenry. the Paxton Park District’s recreation director, said earlier this week the plan was to open Saturday if all went right, and that is still the hope.
But it has taken the park district more time than expected to acquire a replacement grate to place over the main drain that was modified last week to comply with safety regulations. The park district has two of the grates ready to go, but the third one had a crack in it. Until the last grate is acquired — McKenry said he might have to go pick it up — the pool can’t be filled. The park district had originally hoped to fill the pool Wednesday.
It will take about 23 hours to fill the pool with water, McKenry said, then chemicals must sit in it as well for a time. Until the grate is acquired, it’s hard to estimate when the pool may open.
“It could be Saturday, it could be Sunday, it could be Monday,” McKenry said Wednesday afternoon.
The first few swim days will be free as a way to promote the reopening of the pool, which was closed last summer because it was not compliant with state regulations designed to enhance the safety of the main drain.
Work on the pool’s main drain was completed by contractors late last week, and it was approved by an Illinois Department of Health official in “as-is” condition, McKenry said. The park district has not received full approval yet because of the crack in the third grate. But that issue does not need to be addressed by contractors; McKenry said he simply could set it in himself. Then a permit to operate could be approved by a health department official.