Town Approves $14,725 Contract for Waveny Pool Work; No Competitive Bids Sought

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Town officials on Tuesday approved a contract with a Stamford-based painting company to spruce up Waveny Pool ahead of the 2018 season.

The $14,725 contract with Alladin Services includes $1,900 in contingency and will including cleaning the main pavilion at the pool, locker rooms and cleaning around the pool, Department of Public Works Buildings Superintendent Bill Oestmann told members of the Board of Selectmen during their regular meeting.

Alladin has “done a fair amount of work for the town” and has been “responsive” and “good with their pricing,” Oestmann said at the meeting, held in Town Hall.

“We are seeking your approval to get this done and get ready for the opening day,” Oestmann said.

Waveny Pool typically is open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

Recreation Director Steve Benko said $40,000 has been earmarked for “major maintenance” in the current fiscal year’s budget. The work will include power-washing mildew stains off of the roof as well as concrete areas such as walkways out front of the Waveny Pool building and a picnic area, Oestmann said.

Selectman Kit Devereaux asked whether the job had gone out for competitive bidding.

It did not.

“We didn’t have time to, unfortunately, this sort of came up earlier in March to go out with a competitive bid and the timing,” Oestmann said. “I wouldn’t be able to get it done fo rate season.”

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan asked whether the town has used Alladin before.

It has.

Oestmann said the town in the past has had difficulty getting bids for painting projects.

“I don’t think it’s desirable for a lot of contractors doing government work, they are just so busy doing the private sector,” Oestmann said.

Even so, Devereaux said: “I would encourage us to start earlier and get the competitive bids.”

When Benko said there’s a timing issue because the building is not heated, so the work has to be done either in the fall or early-April, and can’t be done in the winter, Devereaux said: “No, but you can get the bids.”

Moynihan called the work “necessary” and asked Devereaux to make the motion to approve the contract. They voted in favor of it, as did Selectman Nick Williams.

2 thoughts on “Town Approves $14,725 Contract for Waveny Pool Work; No Competitive Bids Sought

  1. This is all well and good and we appreciate this.

    BUT if Mr. Benko refuses to let them turn on the heat again what’s the point?

    • Kate, Thank you for posting your comment and question.

      Your frustration is misdirected.

      Once the Waveny Pool staff starts the heaters up for the pool in May, prior to Memorial Day weekend, the thermostats for the heaters are set to keep the pool between 78 and 80 degrees.

      Waveny Pool has two large heaters that work in tandem to keep the pool temperature at that level.

      The town did have a problem twice last summer with one of the units. In early June, it kept turning off into a safety mode. Mr. Benko called on the service rep from Raytherm, the manufacturer, to come out and diagnose the problem since the unit was under warranty. It turned out that the electronic igniter for the pilot light was defective and had to be replaced. After the repair was made everything ran fine until August when the circulator pump for the same heater seized up. The town had to pull the pump and send it out for repair. It turns out that a small piece of grit or sand got into the system and it scored the impeller shaft which prevented it from turning and circulating water through the heater so it shut down in safety mode again. The repair shop diagnosed the problem and had to use a metal lathe and remove the burr so the impeller would spin freely again and circulate water.

      Once the town got it back everything worked fine again.

      But during the time that the one heater was out of service, it was difficult keeping the pool water at the 78-80 degree level with just the one functioning heater. Both repairs only took three or four days to complete so during that time period the pool water was cooler depending on the night time temperature so during the morning hours it was probably between 72 and 75 degrees —yes, cooler than normal.

      Once Mr. Benko and his team open the pool and in May and he turns the heaters on, he leaves them—because they’re controlled by a thermostat. Once the season is over and the pool closes, they’re shut off. Nobody, not Mr. Benko or anyone else, ever turns the heaters on or off at will or because they feel like it. Mr. Benko does check them daily during the season to be sure that they are functioning properly. Water must circulate through the heater coils even though the heaters may not be on, in order to prevent scale from building up in the coils and other problems.

      The Recreation Department has received comments during the hot days in July and early August that the pool is too warm and would someone please turn the heaters off. Contrary to what some may believe, the town does not control the sun, which warms the water—as an aside, that’s a function of the sun that was critical to generating left on Earth. During such hot periods, the heaters are controlled by thermostats that do not run because, thanks to the sun, the water temperature has been naturally heated above their set point.

      The town did post a sign at the front desk at the pool telling the public that there was a problem and that it was being fixed, and the Rec staff’s aquatic supervisors also told people that there was a mechanical problem when they inquired about why the pool water was chilly.

      Thanks again.

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