The city is having second thoughts about shutting down the McIntire Park wading pool, Rachana Dixit writes in today’s Daily Progress, in response to citizen complaints. It’s all because of the The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, a 2007 bill that actually failed in congress, but passed when lumped into a comprehensive energy bill. The new law requires “anti-entrapment drain covers” in pools and spas, addressing the approximately one death annually from children who get hung up in the drains. Pools around the country are hustling to upgrade their drains to be compliant, since the law went into effect in December. The city figured it’d cost $15,000-$20,000 to make the upgrades. In addition, the ancient pool has a serious leak (the 67,000 gallon pool had 275,000 gallons put into it last year), and it’s going to be awfully close to the planned bypass/McIntire interchange.
Mayor Dave Norris wants to reconsider the whole thing, though, and is putting it up for discussion and a vote at an upcoming City Council meeting. Hawes Spencer, of The Hook, was apparently dubious of the cost of the drain upgrade, and did a little shopping around—he found that the hardware should cost closer to $2,000. That still leaves the questions of the proximity to the interchange and the leak, which is presumably what Council will be sorting out at their next meeting.