Thursday, June 24, 2004

Subdivision pool back in business

Shutdown is Over

By Perry Schaible
Enquirer contributor

LANDEN - The Woodfield Recreation Association pool has reopened.

A variety of problems had forced the community pool to shut down, resulting in a neighborhood controversy.

"Everything seems to be really good now and I'm glad," said Julie Himes, a resident of the Woodfield subdivision and mother of children ages 9, 7, and 4.

Lifeguard Brooke Fram watches as 13 year-old Dylan Donaldson twists off the diving board at the Woodfield Recreation Association pool in Landen.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
Community officials closed the pool after the Warren County Combined Health District questioned the certification of its lifeguards, after back-up storage tanks were found to be without chlorine and a broken pump had left one of the three pools with green water.

"It was our decision to shut it down for safety," said Claudia York, a member of the Woodfield Recreation Association board.

Owners of the 499 houses in the 20-year-old subdivision are required to pay $200 a year for pool fees and community activities.

Dan Collins, director of environmental health for the health district, said inspectors were concerned that they could not initially verify that the lifeguards were certified. Their certification eventually was verified.

"Normally, they have a pretty good operation down there," Collins said. "This is the first time I can recall ever having a problem with them."

The problems, York said, started when officials hired Atlanta-based USA Pools to manage the facility, a decision made after the former management company, Cincinnati Pool Management, raised rates.

USA Pools has since been fired and Cincinnati Pool Management has resumed control.

Brad Hatton, general manager of USA Pools, said Woodfield is in breach of its agreement and didn't follow through when asked to fix problems before the opening.

"The bottom line is it didn't open as it should have because of their equipment," Hatton said, adding that the pool wasn't properly winterized.

Said Himes: "I was concerned, but honestly, I knew that they were doing the best they could do." She was glad that she and her children could enjoy the pool again.

Not all residents have been as forgiving.

Stephan Schlosser hasn't been to the pool since it re-opened the second week of June. "I'm probably not going to swim in the pool this year," he said.

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