HONESDALE—With temperatures climbing and summer just around the corner, respite is soon to be found at the Honesdale Borough Pool, set to have its grand opening Monday, June 25.

When the pool opens, patrons will come face to face with an assortment of facility improvements, resultant from the recent funding drive spearheaded by the Honesdale Lions Club.

The Lions were proud to announce last Monday the donation of new lifeguard podiums, courtesy of Dick Palmer & Sons Truck Service.

In the year and a half since initiating their fund-raising drive, the Honesdale Lions have raised over $180,000 in community donations to bring the pool to operability for last year's swimming season.

Of the fundraising process, Lion Paul Meagher, Co-chair of the Pool Committee, stated, “The community has been very, very supportive.”

Meagher noted there has been an outpouring of support from local banks, schools, organizations and businesses, some donating on multiple occasions, to make the pool repairs possible.

The most critical repair made possible through this drive has been the replacement of the pool's filtration system, a $35,000 project undertaken by L.H. Reed & Sons.

The project, “...had the entire tank and filtration system taken out and rebuilt,” explained Lion President, Steve Knash. “That's all been done...it's all brand new and it's all working fine.”

Knash, a civil engineer by trade, has donated much of his free time in the past year and a half overseeing the revitalization project.

“The next step with the pool itself is to take off all of these copings and reset them,” said Knash. “The grout and the mortar that they're in is coming loose in a lot of places.”

Additionally, the Lion President noted the pool still needs new tiling, rebuilt drain holes, fresh paint and re-parching.

Bidding for these improvements is expected to progress in the near future with construction not set to happen until after the pool closes again in August.

Of the work that's been done so far, Lions Club Pool Committee Co-chair Tony Herzog stated, “We have received tremendous cooperation from the borough maintenance employees, Rich Doney and his staff, getting this pool up and running.”

“They have worked with Steve and with us 100 percent,” he added.

Ever forward looking, Knash stated the Lions are still collecting donations for future pool renovations.

In the last few days before opening, Doney and the borough Department of Public Works (DPW) are busy making final preparations, including repainting the pool with the last of the paint left over from the previous order.

Opening announced

Honesdale Borough Council Parks & Recreations Committee Chair Jim Jennings announced the opening at Monday's council meeting, stating “We're really excited about the season...Everything is rounding into shape. It's an exciting time for the pool. Come and join us!”

Jennings offered a special thanks to the various parties involved in keeping the pool open both last year and this year.

This included the Lions Club, Dick Palmer & Sons, Rudy Schemitz, Dan Kagan, Judy Poltanis, Warren Schloesser, local cub scouts, Koberlein Environmental Service, the new pool managers “...and anybody else who tended the gardens at the public parks and little areas of respite throughout town.”

Newly helming the pool this year will be Manager Matthew Taylor and Assistant Manager Austen Miller.

“We're really excited to have them on board,” said Jennings.

Swim hours will be 1-6:30 p.m. everyday. Admission is $5 per swimmer with reduced rates for seniors and groups of ten or more swimmers.

The full rates schedule can be found on the borough website: www.honesdaleborough.com.

Jennings also announced the advent of swimming lessons at the pool from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays, split into two, three-week sessions.

Additionally, after the first week open, every Tuesday night will be Senior Night from 4-6:30 and every Wednesday at the same time will be Student Night.

There will be a pool open house Thursday, July 12 from 1 to 8 p.m. Admission will be free.

Noting the expected renovations taking place, Taylor stated, “It's gonna be a whole new game next year. It's gonna bring in so many more people.”

With that in mind, he encourages as many patrons as possible to enjoy the facilities this summer.

“The bigger it is this year, then it's gonna be even better next year,” he said.

With the season starting in less than a fortnight, the borough is still looking for dedicated lifeguards to fill out its roster.

Applications can be picked up and dropped off to the borough office, located at 958 Main Street.

Jennings encourages all interested parties to apply, regardless of certification status. The borough will work with applicants to coordinate a time for them to receive all necessary qualifying certifications.

“We can never have too many lifeguards,” said Jennings. “This is the perfect summer job … You're providing a service to people.”