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Safety steps taken at local pool

by Alan McArthur
Landmark reporter

The Platte City Parks Board approved spending more than $1,600 for changes to the city pool to comply with federal laws.

On Monday night, the parks board voted to pay Leisure World Pool and Hearth to install several safety measures dealing with the pool's suction outlet at the bottom.

The safety measures include a new drain cover and a Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS) to ensure children do not get stuck at the bottom of the pool.

The cost to install the new safety features was quoted at $1,420.95 for the SVRS and $213.58 for the drain cover.

According to a letter provided by Leisure World Pool and Hearth, public pools “shall be equipped with one or more additional anti-entrapment devices or system, the most common of which is the SVRS.” The letter states, the SVRS stops the suction pump or reverses the circulation flow when a blockage is detected.

The changes were created after the death of Virginia Graham Baker in 2004. Baker was trapped at the bottom of a hot tub by the suction of the pool drain. A federal law was signed in 2007 requiring the changes.

According to Jason Metten, city administrator, there have been 150 deaths over the last 20 years caused by unsafe drains.

The board also approved using the city's park staff to do the mowing at city parks during 2009.

According to Dannie Stamper, parks director, having the city staff do the mowing will cost about $10,000 for the year, while bidding out the work would cost more than $30,000.

Stamper said they had planned to bid out the work because Keith Moody, former city administrator, had estimated it would save the city money.

The board decided to use parks staff to do the mowing with a vote of 5-0.

The parks board also interviewed another possible candidate to be a new board member.

Resident Steve Harris attended the meeting to answer questions from the board about why he wanted to be on the board.

Harris is an investment officer at Platte Valley Bank and said he saw they needed help and had already spoken with Frank Offutt, mayor.

The board recommended he be added as a board member. Harris will now need to be approved by the board of aldermen to become a member.



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