PAXTON — The park district's recreation director said he expects to be able to open the public swimming pool at Coady Park on the first or second weekend of June, assuming a variety of necessary preparations can be completed in the next couple of weeks.
"I'd hate to throw a date out there, but I'd say that a couple more weeks would be a pretty legitimate time frame (for the pool to open)," Recreation Director Neal McKenry said Monday.
The outdoor swimming pool, which usually opens each summer on Memorial Day weekend, is expected to be a big draw for the Paxton community this summer: It was closed last year for the first time in its 46-year existence.
But as much as they would like to, park district officials have been unable to set an opening date yet. McKenry said the main reason is the delayed permitting process that has resulted from new safety regulations being enforced by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
As of Monday, the pool still had not received its operating permit from the health department, and McKenry said the permit cannot be issued until after modifications to the pool's main drain are completed to comply with the regulations mandated by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool And Spa Safety Act.
McKenry said welders from Hanfland Painting, based in Sigel, are expected to arrive in Paxton on Friday to modify the drain by installing a baffle between the grate that lies flush with the pool bottom and the main drain below. Hanfland Painting, the only contractor to submit a bid earlier this month, is doing the work for $3,850 — less than half of what it was originally thought to cost.