Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

YMCA to manage Fountain Hill pool this summer

Thursday, April 20, 2017 by Tracy Rice Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Fountain Hill Borough did not get any other interested parties for the position of the poll manager for the summer, so it went to the Bethlehem YMCA for help.

Vanessa Rex, the aquatic/youth coordinator at the YMCA, put together a proposal for the Borough council. The proposal would have the pool open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The YMCA would manage the lifeguards only. The borough would be responsible to hire people for the ticket booth for admissions and for supplying all the necessary chemicals for the pool maintenance.

“The YMCA would hire lifeguards and ensure that they are all certified,” Rex explained. There would be two managers to split the hours. The number of lifeguards on duty each day would depend on the weather and how many people are at the pool. The ratio that the YMCA uses is 25 people to one lifeguard. If lifeguards on duty feel that they could close one of the three pools to better utilize the staff for the day, then they can make that decision, Rex added.

The YMCA has proposed a budget of $43,950, but that will fluctuate during the season depending on the weather and attendance at the pool each day.

“Our goal is to keep the pool open all season,” Rex said.

When Jason Quarry, Fountain Hill public works supervisor, asked if the pool would be tested hourly by the lifeguards, Rex assured him that as long as the chemicals and necessary equipment were provided, the lifeguards will do the required testing.

The goal is to open for Memorial Day.

The motion to hire the YMCA to manage the Fountain Hill Borough pool for the summer was made by Carolee Gifford, council member, and the second was by Philip Trabel, council member. All present voted in favor and the motion carried.

In other business, Council Pressident Larry Rapp noted that Fountain Hill’s Borough Park is cleaned daily of all trash and debris but by the next day, it is littered with trash, broken glass bottles, profanity covered picnic tables and drug baggies.

“It’s only the middle of April,” Rapp said, “and it’s only going to get worse. We have to do something.”

As a temporary reprieve, Fountain Hill Police Chief Ed Bachert said he has removed the basketball rims to deter the teens from loitering at the park after hours. The video cameras that were installed have already been smashed, garbage is strewn all over the park nightly, disrespectful teenagers hang out at the park and families are afraid to take their young children there.

Bachert assured the Fountain Hill council that his patrols make regular checks on middle shift to check on things at the park after hours. It’s one step at a time, the chief added. He’s hoping that by removing the basketball rims, the teens go somewhere else to hang out.

Fountain Hill will be organizing its first borough cleanup day on Saturday, May 6, at 9 a.m. Chief Bachert suggested that in the future, the cleanup committee meet every two weeks to plan out the next area to be cleaned up. Executive Administrator Anthony Branco, will be reaching out to a few organizations to assist in the cleanup process.

Residents are asked to check the website www.fountainhill.org for more details. The clean-up crews plan to meet at Borough Hall, 941 Long St.