June 5, 2003
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Village delays Gaunt Pool opening

Two weeks behind its originally scheduled opening, the opening of the Gaunt Park Pool has been delayed once again, and the public pool may now open for the season early next week, Village officials said this week.

Village officials placed blame for the latest delay on King Painters & Sandblasters of Dayton, which was hired to paint the pool. Normally two coats of paint would be applied to the pool, said Terry Cox, the Village parks director. But the Village claims that King has applied a coat of primer and only one coat of paint to the pool.

Because the Village was expecting King to apply one more coat of paint on the pool last week, the Village had to delay the opening, which had been rescheduled for June 7.

“We wanted the job totally done and out of the way, but that’s not going to happen right now,” he said.

Sherman King, the owner of King Painters & Sandblasters, however, said that his company has completed the project and that his company has applied two coats of paint and one coat of primer to Gaunt Pool.

King said that the pool’s black stripes, which designate the swimming lanes, were painted on Sunday, May 25, and that the company was at the pool Monday, June 2, doing touch-ups. King submitted a final bill to the Village the same day.

“We’re satisfied that they’ve got a good job,” King said.

But the Village is not satisfied with the final project. On Monday, Village Manager Rob Hillard told Village Council that the “contractor hasn’t delivered.” Both Hillard and Cox said on Tuesday that the Village had expected King to apply a second coat of paint last week.

“I feel the job should have been done” in time to open the pool on June 7, Cox said.

Cox did say that King has done an “excellent job” on the project, but that the Village’s project has not been a priority for King Painters.

Sherman King indicated that the spring weather made it difficult to finish the project, but he said any blame belongs to the Village. For instance, the Village did a sloppy job cutting the grass around the pool, he said, and did not clean up grass clippings that then blew into the pool. “The delay has definitely been on their part,” King said.

Village officials have acknowledged that the weather delayed the opening.

In separate interviews, both Cox and King accused the other of unprofessional behavior. Cox said that King has given the Village “the run around” for the last week. King said that Cox has been “badgering” him to complete the project, even though King has said the pool is now painted.

The total project cost is $13,000 and King has so far been paid about $9,500, Cox said.

Village Parks and Recreation staff started filling the pool with water on Monday. It takes several days to prepare the water in the pool for swimming. Cox estimated the pool could open by next Tuesday, June 10, while Hillard said it would be open by June 11.

Cox said that he thinks the paint will fade by the end of the season. Another coat of paint will be applied to the pool after it closes.

The Village plans to keep the pool open an additional week in August.

The Village first delayed the opening of the pool over the Memorial Day weekend after the heavy spring rains and unexpected problems hampered King Painters’ efforts to paint the pool. In addition, King found soft spots in the walls of the pool as the surface was being prepped for painting. The company repaired the problems.

—Robert Mihalek