Pool attendance up; memberships down

By on October 16, 2019

Jim Summers, director of the Ephrata Recreation Association provided a recap of the 2019 pool season at the Oct. 14 Ephrata Borough Council meeting.

“We had a good year at the pool,” Summers said, adding that overall attendance showed an increase. Last year’s total of both pass holders and guests was 38,291, while the attendance for 2019’s summer was 40,208. Memberships were down by about $5,000 but day passes were up by about $3,300 from last year, he said.

Because of two incidents early on in the season, Summers and the board of directors decided to limit guest passes to 1,000 per day. There were two incidents where police officers were called to the site.

One was a near-drowning involving a child. The mother of the child, Summers said, has been charged in connection with the incident. All staff on duty at the time were acting properly and were held blameless. Summers said while the number of guests did occasionally go slightly above the 1,000-person-limit — because, they “weren’t about to separate families,” the decision to hold a line on guest passes was a success.

The remainder of the summer was incident-free, he added. The Ephrata pool continues to retain constables on weekends and holidays to maintain order if needed, and pool-attendees do seem to appreciate that, Summer said. “We do get compliments about them; they’re doing a good job,” Summers said. Pool management hired extra

Pool attendance up; memberships down Official said limiting guest passes a success staff this year, including an extra manager on weekends, and had sufficient lifeguards, Summer said, attributing a calm summer to the extra help. Summers also told Council about 2019’s completed pool projects, which included removing and re-plastering the competition pool surface and re-caulking joints, for $79,595. Major cracks below the plaster were also repaired at a cost of $10,000.

Projects on tap for 2020 include repairing cracks, re-plastering and re-caulking the upper pool and repairing the “bubbler” feature, for $107,838, and installing non-slip epoxy flooring in the restrooms for $18,850. Also planned for next year is a new fountain feature for $7,069 and the purchase of 50 lounge chairs, for $5,500. Councilman Tom Reinhold questioned Summers about the volleyball area, noting that it isn’t used often, and suggested putting in a “baby pool” instead.

Summers agreed that the area wasn’t getting much use and said they would consider a change. “It is good to see the numbers are still up after eight years,” Reinhold said, referring to major renovations made a number of years earlier.

Marylouise Sholly is a freelance feature writer for The Ephrata Review. She welcomes your comments and questions at weezsholly@verizon.net

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