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Children enjoy the water at Vernon Recreation Park's pool on Friday.

VERNON >> While preparing the pool for the 2016 season it was discovered that the filtration system was not operating at full capacity. The pressure was down causing poor filtration of the water.

An inspection of the system revealed a cracked flange on the suction side of the pump. Parts were custom ordered and installed upon arrival. Bill Gilbert Plumbing &Heating performed this work at a cost of $1,388.50, and the expense is attributed to Fiscal Year 2015-16.

This was believed to be the main source of the filtration challenges as air entering the pump can both cause long term problems for the pump and motor, as well as cause weakened filtration capacity.

On July 7, the motor on the system malfunctioned. Applied Dynamics and Josh King Electric performed service calls. A replacement motor with the same specs was immediately ordered. The quoted price was $705 plus freight. The back up 15-horsepower motor on site was installed. During installation it was discovered that the impeller on the pump was excessively worn and could potential cause the motor to run less efficiently contributing to long-term problems. An impeller was immediately ordered, but the quoted price is not yet available. The ordered impeller was bronze rather than cast iron which should last longer given the environment. The on-site back up was installed utilizing the existing worn impeller.


Once installed, a test run of the system was unsuccessful on July 8. Further inspection found the starter on the motor had corroded inside the weather resistant panel located on the wall in the filter pit. At this time a new starter was ordered, but again the price is not yet available.

The pool remained closed through the weekend of July 9 and 10. On July 11, the price of the starter was confirmed at $900 plus freight and installation. That same day, the price of the impeller came in at $1,100 plus freight and installation.

After four-and-a-half days of the pool being shut down, these parts where installed and the filtration system was up and running. After two hours of running the motor shut down again. Josh King and Applied Dynamics determined the motor was drawing too many amps. The newly installed starter's reset was tripped before the motor could be damaged.

To lower the amperage draw, the discharge of the pump was reduced, which allows the pump to operate but not at optimal levels.

About 12 years ago, the pool was struck by lightning. At the time, the motor was removed but the nameplate was so corroded that no information could be obtained. A backup on-site motor was installed. This was a 15 horsepower motor, and its nameplate had been used to purchase motors in subsequent years.

Even without the nameplate on the motor that was struck with lightning, it was determined that the old motor was larger than the on-site replacement. Vernon was told by the contractor that the newer motor was more efficient and that the backup 15 horsepower motor was appropriate.

Conducting some research in the town records, the original specifications from May 1970 were found. They called for a 20-horsepower motor. With this information in hand, the town replaced the order of a 15-horsepower motor with a 20-horsepower motor, at a cost of $1,100 plus freight and installation.

The 15-horsepower motor that is currently in place will be removed. The town will need to decide if this motor should be used as a backup or if a backup 20-horsepower motor should be purchased.

In addition, to reduce corrosion to the starter, in the fall, it will be installed in the boiler room. This can be done in the fall for approximately $1,500.00.

The total cost, including repairs to prevent an air suction leak, is between $6,488.50 and $6,988.50. Payment can be made out of the recreation budgets for fiscal year 2015/16 and 2016/17. However, this option would include not moving forward with the budgeted replacement of the bathroom stalls in the girl's bathroom at the shelter at $3,500.

The Emergency Capital Reserve Fund could be used but total expenses must be a minimum of $10,000 and if the town chooses to relocate the starter and purchase a backup 20 horse motor our project total would be between $9,088.50 and $9,588.50.

In addition, the town has budgeted $1,200 from the recreation budget to begin the replacement of filter grids. The plan is to budget this amount annually to replace two screens a year. The town has already ordered the two grids budgeted for fiscal year 16/17. The system contains 14 grids, of which eight will be replaced over four years. The town could change that process and purchase an additional six grids at $455.57 each. Clamps for the grids are also necessary at a cost of $32.75 each.

This option would bring the total to between $12,345.92 and $$12,845.92. While the most expensive this option would repair all current challenges as well as eliminate future tax impacts.

On July 14, the Select Board with the Recreation Board held a special meeting and board member Sandra Harris made a motion to pay for the repairs out of the emergency capital fund. The motion was approved by the board by a vote of 4 to 0, with board member Josh Unrun not in attendance.

Michelle Pong is the Vernon Town Administrator. She can be contacted at or 802-257-0292, ext. 12.