OC pool set to open June 8, but more lifeguards, new pump needed

The tentative opening date for the Oil City municipal swimming pool in Hasson Heights is June 8, but two things have cropped up that could possibly alter that plan.

Oil City Manager Mark Schroyer outlined those potential troubles Thursday for Oil City Council members.

Schroyer said the main pump that circulates water in the pool is shot. He added that the pump is obsolete so parts are unavailable to fix it.

A replacement pump from a Pittsburgh pump maker would cost $10,000, not counting the costs of modifying it to fit the existing pipes at the pool, Schroyer said.

Schroyer said he is confident the new pump will be installed by June 8. But he added that the Oil City Middle School’s annual pool party is scheduled June 3 and he isn’t confident the pool will be available for use at that point.

The second, and more pressing problem facing the pool operations this summer, is having enough lifeguards.

So far, the city has seven lifeguards lined up, but they like to have 14 to 16 guards each year, Schroyer said.

The hourly wage for lifeguards has been $9 but “the kids are finding better paying jobs elsewhere,” Schroyer said.

“Any more you pay the lifeguards will increase the deficit for the pool. If you want to have a pool as a community asset, the city will have to bite the bullet and pay these kids more,” Schroyer said.

He added that he has authorized water department director Jason Herman to offer lifeguards $12 an hour.

“I’m not confident we will have enough lifeguards,” Schroyer said.

On a positive note, Schroyer said the fountain in the East End is up and running and has been very well received.

The lights in the fountain are set to burgundy. The city is working to be able to change the lights manually, Schroyer added.