BY MELANIE BUCK –
Mena Parks and Recreation Director, Nathan Fowler, met with the builders of the Mena City Pool at McMillan Park on Monday to determine how long the popular attraction will be closed this summer after the filters failed.
The pool has had issues with the filter system that was installed in the 1970’s and the City is unsure how long it may take to address the problem. They are just worn out,” said Fowler. After meeting with the pool company, Luther Stem Pools and Spas of Fort Smith, Fowler said the filters are enclosed in steel tanks and the whole system will need to be replaced but feels hopeful that the pool will reopen sometime this summer.
The tanks work off of a sand and gravel filtering system and while newer tanks are built from fiberglass, the old 1970’s style system they have are steel. Fowler explained that the manholes on top of the steel tanks have rusted up and because of that, does not allow for someone to get into the tanks to administer preventative maintenance. “It would take someone very small to get into the tanks and busting them open would actually cause more damage. That’s why we are replacing it all instead of trying to repair it,” said Fowler. “There is nothing we could’ve done to prevent the closure.
The estimated cost of replacing the tanks and filters will be sent by the pool company within the next few days. After they are received, Mena City Council will call a special meeting to approve or deny the estimates. If approved, the proposal will then be sent to the state for approval. Once all approval is made and the company that wins the bid fits Mena’s pool into their schedule it will take just days to install the new equipment.