Thursday May 9, 2013

VERNON -- Reopening a four-decade-old community swimming pool comes with an annual cost.

Vernon Recreation Director Seth Deyo knows that well, having been forced to request more than $3,000 in emergency-repair funds in advance of the town recreational facility's opening next month.

"Just in the process of opening up the pool, there are challenges that come up just about every year," Deyo said.

Vernon Selectboard members this week approved Deyo's two-part request.

First, he asked for an estimated $2,100 from the town's emergency repair/replacement fund "for what we absolutely need to get done to open the pool."

Much of that work already has been completed, though Deyo said he has not yet received a final bill.

"The majority of it was a pressure tank, which was about $1,000," Deyo said.

Additionally, Deyo requested $1,046 to replace aging, faulty valves in a shower room at the Pond Road recreational facility.

"They just don't work very well. Every year we work on those," Deyo said, adding that replacing the valves "just seems to make sense rather than to continue to fuss with these things."

Deyo said he had no money in his recreational budget for those projects.

He also noted that the pool opened in 1972. Age and the stresses of annual winterization efforts take a toll, Deyo said.

"You're taking everything apart and putting it back together every year," he said, adding that some recreation equipment at the site dates to the facility's original opening.


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The town pool is scheduled to open to the public June 17, though there will be a few private events there prior to that date, Deyo said. The public opening date is contingent on the beginning of students' summer vacation.

The recreation department is accepting registrations for summer day camp and swimming lessons. More information is available at www.vernonrec.com, as are downloadable registration forms.

Officials also have added a "community programs" link on the recreation department's website to advertise local events and business offerings. In some cases, discounts are available to those who mention that they saw the ads on the department's site.

"We've had a few people take advantage of that, but we'd like to publicize it a little more," Deyo said.

The recreation allocation was not Vernon Selectboard's only emergency-funding request this week. Fire Chief Todd Capen asked for $3,366 that he already had spent from his budget for repairs on the department's rescue truck.

The town's insurer had paid $17,526 of that bill, leaving the fire department to cover the remainder.

"The $3,366 was unexpected, because we didn't know how much money it was going to cost to fix the truck properly," Capen said.

Without reimbursement from the town's emergency fund, Capen said he would have to forego "preventative maintenance repairs I should be doing" -- for example, replacing the front tires on the fire department's tanker.

"They're not horribly bad, but they're getting to where they should probably be replaced," Capen said.

Selectboard members approved the funding request, but officials also asked Capen to consult with the town's insurer to see whether the company will consider increasing its payment for the truck-repair job.

"They may be willing to work with us," Vernon Treasurer Sally Brassor said.

Mike Faher can be reached at mfaher@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.