Funds cover Zelie pool work

May 15, 2019 Cranberry Local News

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Work continues on a renovation project of the pool in Zelienople Community Park.

ZELIENOPLE — The borough has received a major reimbursement for ongoing pool renovation work.

Officials hope to keep the project on schedule for an opening later this month.

Planning to renovate the 60-year-old pool began in 2015, with the borough and Community Park Association outlining the $1.3 million project. A Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant for $700,000 was awarded, with the requirement for matching funds to come from the borough. An additional $300,000 was estimated for fundraising, with a contingency plan of about 10 percent built in.

As work has proceeded, grant reimbursements have been slow, forcing officials to find new ways to temporarily cover the difference. This includes borrowing from the borough's electric fund until portions of the grant were received.

Meeting last week, borough council members voted to pay bills for $24,999.99 and $76,617.50 to Stoneridge Inc. for work on the renovation. Borough Manager Don Pepe said the former bill was one of the oldest on file, and the latter would not be paid until the most recent reimbursement was received.

According to Tom Thompson, borough engineer, roughly $280,000 from the DCNR grant was expected to be received last week, and was held up due to a processing issue. The amount would enable the borough to pay bills and have some leftover for future obligations.

“We have been really good about paying everything on time, which I think in our situation is pretty incredible if you think about it,” Pepe told council.

Thompson said the reimbursement was the last that could be requested until the work is completed. The remaining funds will be used to pay final invoices and balances.

As for that completion, Thompson said concrete work was expected to start by the end of last week, and should move fairly quickly. He said tile work had recently been completed.

“It actually looks like a pool,” he said.

Council also approved a motion last week to address joint repair in the deep end of the pool, with officials hoping to see that work completed by this week. Pepe added that in addition to work on the pool itself, the project includes renovations of the pool house and an outside restroom, brick work in the front and grading around the area.

“There is a lot happening there, and I know it doesn't look like much, but when all that is done, it is going to look great,” he said.

Thompson said weather permitting, the project, “will be close” to hitting the goal of opening by Memorial Day weekend. The project also remains on budget, officials said.

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J.W.  Johnson Jr.

J.W. Johnson Jr.

J.W. Johnson Jr. is the bureau chief of the Cranberry Eagle. Johnson is a native of Bellaire, Ohio, and graduated from Bellaire High School in 2004. He is a 2009 graduate of Ohio University in Athens with a bachelor of specialized studies degree in English and journalism. While there, he served as a reporter and editor at The Post, the university’s student-run, independent newspaper. In 2009, he was hired as a reporter for The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register in Wheeling, W.Va. Over the course of eight years, he also served as Marshall County bureau chief, city editor and news editor. He also won two first place West Virginia Press Association Awards for his reporting and design work. He and his wife, Maureen, live in Carnegie.