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New Ipswich

Pool repair bids slow to trickle in

Select Board decides to open pool, wait on work until after season

NEW IPSWICH — After clearing the hurdle of having funds for some major pool repairs approved at the polls in March, the town was set to make some improvements to the pool building and pump system before the summer season. But after a request for bids for the job yielded no offers, the majority of the upgrades will have to wait until after the pool closes at the end of summer.

During Town Meeting, voters approved spending $75,000 — $40,000 from the pool maintenance capital reserve fund and $35,000 through taxes — for both pump improvements and an aesthetic update to the town pool on Temple Road.

The improvements will include redoing the six-inch tile waterline around the perimeter of the pool and repainting the depth markers on the deck, as well as installing new coping, acid washing the pool and installing a scratch coat subsurface. The drains will also be updated, and a new 7.5 horsepower pump installed.

Select Board member Ben Cargill said he was surprised that not even the company that had originally assessed the cost of the work, South Shore Gunite Pool and Spa out of Chelmsford, Mass., had submitted a bid. Town Administrator Roberta Fraser said the main problem is that there is simply not enough time between now and when the work would have to be finished to open the pool on time to complete the scope of the work.

Select Board member Mike Conlin asked if the pool could make it safely through another season without the work being done. Fraser informed the board that each year, the pool must undergo a safety inspection by both state officials and representatives from the town’s insurance provider before opening for the summer. That inspection will be happening within the next few weeks.

Cargill noted that, while the pool is in definite need of those repairs, he does believe it’s still operable, and that it will be able to bear one more season.

Fraser said some minor repairs need to be done for safety before the pool can open, but felt they could be handled internally by town employees.

The board agreed to open the town pool as scheduled, and put the repair job back out to bid in July, in hopes of starting work on the pump installation immediately after the pool closes down for the year, and having the work completed before the end of the year.

The Select Board will meet next Tuesday in the Town Hall at 6:30 p.m.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

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