UPDATED — Beach pool repairs could top $200k

For two years, the town pool at Robert Beach Park has been plagued with problems that frustrated residents and officials, and last year delayed the traditional Memorial Day weekend opening to July.

The town has given up on repairing the pool’s liner, which is just 18 months old, and is now soliciting bids to replace it, according to First Selectman Vicki Tesoro.

“It is simply unacceptable that we need to replace the Beach pool liner less than two years after the last liner was installed,” Tesoro said. “It is clear to me, the liner was not installed correctly. I’m sure the people of Trumbull will be frustrated to hear this news, but I can assure everyone that the job will be done correctly this time.”

The bids must be submitted no later than Feb. 13. While the final price tag for the project will not be known until then, Tesoro said preliminary estimates indicate the cost could be about $200,000. The town will pursue financial remedy from the previous installer, she said.

“The priority is to get the pool open on Memorial Day weekend,” she said.

According to interim Parks and Recreation Director Mike Mocciae, the department has taken several steps to ensure that the pool will be fixed correctly and in time for the summer season.

“We will meet with potential contractors before the bid proposals are submitted, in order for the contractors to get an accurate assessment of the condition of the shell of the pool,” he said. “There should be no surprises once construction begins and this will allow the contractors to finish the job in time for Memorial Day.”

Parks Superintendent Dmitri Paris will personally assure that there will be daily supervision of the work done until its completion, Mocciae said.

The problems with the Beach Park pool began in 2016 when the town contracted with an Indianapolis-based company to replace the liner. Former Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy said last year that the pool’s size and irregular shape mandated the hiring of a specialized company. The same company had originally installed the heavy PVC liner at Beach and Tashua pools, and McCarthy said its dealings with the town had been positive.

But it was apparent in May 2016 that the new liner would require additional work, and the pool opened late in both 2016 and 2017.

Following the late opening in 2016, the installer was supposed to repair the work during the off-season. But company workers did not show up on time, and that, combined with poor weather and what McCarthy termed “less than responsive” company management, kept the pool closed weeks past its planned 2017 opening.