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Centennial Park pool set to open June 2

SALEM

The opening date for the Centennial Park swimming pool is planned for June 2, but Salem Parks Recreation Supervisor Amber Smith said she could still use a few more certified lifeguards.

The Salem Parks Commission discussed the pool opening Wednesday night, with commission Chair John Panezott stressing the need for lifeguards and the fact that they pay one of the highest wages around for lifeguards at $9 per hour.

According to Smith, she has five lifeguards lined up already and has two more possible candidates who are taking lifeguard classes now to become certified. She would like to have at least three more. Smith serves as pool manager as part of her duties. Anyone interested in the positions can apply at the park office at 2222 Oak St., off of Southeast Boulevard, or call Smith at the office at 330-271-8913.

Under new business, the commission hired seasonal employees for the summer for both maintenance and for the pool operation. The pool employees include head lifeguard and assistant manager Michael Brant, Haley Brant, Brendan Cole, Madison Garmier and April George, with Amanda Goodman and Mary Jo Kidd hired as cashiers. Maintenance seasonal workers included Jarrod Niederhiser and Jacob Kataro.

Parks Director Shane Franks said pool admission on opening day will be free and season passes or family passes will be available for purchase. He said the passes can be purchased now at the park office. An individual season pass is $40 and a family pass (for up to five people) is $60. The daily admission is $3 for students and $4 for adults, with a free adult swim from noon to 12:45 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The pool will be open daily from 1 to 7 p.m.

To reserve the pool after hours, the cost is $25 per hour and $10 per hour for lifeguards. Renters may provide their own lifeguards with the proper certification presented.

Commission Vice Chair Terry Hoopes asked what people are allowed to bring into the pool in the way of drinks or food. No concessions are available, with the exception of the lifeguards sometimes giving out popsicles. Plastic bottles only and snack foods are permitted, but Franks said he doesn’t want food deliveries in the pool area. He said people are welcome to order food or bring food that can be eaten outside of the pool area on a picnic table in a pavilion.

Parks Foreman Jim Grimm reported the cover has been removed from the pool and he was thankful for the work of the St. Paul Boy Scouts Troop 6 for their help in cleaning the pool and pool area.

Franks said the city water department has requested the parks do a slow fill of the pool, which may take longer, so he’s hoping they’ll be able to open on the June 2 date. He said they can’t open earlier due to schools not being out, since that’s where they get their lifeguards.

In other business, both Smith and Franks made another plea for help from community groups to offer an activity for the July 3 festivities at Waterworth Memorial Park as a prelude of fun before the city fireworks display.

Smith said that so far four groups have signed up, including the Salem Salvation Army with a hot dog eating contest, Eyes for Olivia with carnival games, the Burchfield Homestead Society with the Sugartree Alley steel drum band and Berkshire Hathaway with a sidewalk chalk drawing contest and cupcake walk.

Smith described the cupcake walk similar to musical chairs, only instead of grabbing a chair, children grab a cupcake. She said she would like to see more businesses participate. The activities will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. Other possibilities for activities could include a bounce house, face painting, pie baking contest, watermelon eating contest, a photo booth, or a dunk tank.

Franks said he doesn’t want any animal activities, such as a petting zoo or pet parade, and no fees for activities, just donations. The concession stand near the ball fields and duck pond will be open and a food vendor will be open near the band shell.

Any business or organization wanting to take part can call the park office at 330-271-8913.

mgreier@salemnews.net

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