A routine inspection by the state, last fall, found Macomb’s Glenwood Pool had some structural problems and did not meet state standards. The issues identified center around the pool’s circulation and filtration systems as well as its drainage system.
Macomb Park District Executive Director Ray Peterson said some of the problems, like a broken chlorinator, can make swimming risky.
“We really battled chlorine last year with trying to maintain a steady PH. You don’t want wide swings or fluctuations in the chlorine in the swimming pool,” Peterson said.
He said that was an expensive battle last summer as the district had to buy pool chemical to get chlorine levels balanced.
The state of Illinois is requiring all of the repairs be made before it will allow Macomb to open its pool again. Peterson said there’s still time to get the work done ahead of the summer season.
Peterson said the actual construction work will only take about two weeks, assuming all the necessary parts and equipment are easily available. He anticipates the only time-consuming aspect could be actually getting the plans approved by the state before work can start.
“There are horror stories about how long this process can take sometimes,” Peterson said. “The people doing this for us assure us they have a good rapport with the state and should be able to get these approved quickly which may mean a couple of weeks. If it means a couple of months, it changes the entire calendar.”
The initial estimates are that the repairs will cost about $50,000. Peterson has some concerns about that figure, because the age of Glenwood Pool could retire more work than meets the eye.
"Anyone who has ever renovated a house understands that once you start the work, there is always something else that comes up," Peterson said.
The City of Macomb and the Park District will split the cost of repairs up to a maximum of $75,000. Any price tag higher than that could trigger Glenwood Pool’s permanent closure.
Mayor Mike Inman said repairs should be done because Glenwood is the only public pool in Macomb. “Right now, that is the only viable option the community and that’s why it seems reasonable to invest $35,000 to maintain it.”
The city council voted in favor of making the repairs, although Alderman Tom Koch cast the lone no vote. He questioned whether the repairs are really worth the expense since pool attendance has been on the decline in recent years.