Smithfield to replace pool water heaters

pseligson@newsobserver.comApril 7, 2014 

The Town Council has decided to replace all but one of the pool heaters at the Smithfield Recreation and Aquatics Center.

PAULA SELIGSON — pseligson@newsobserver.com

Smithfield will replace most of its remaining swimming-pool heaters

At its meeting last week, the Town Council agreed to replace three of the four remaining pool heaters and repair the water-treatment system at the Smithfield Recreation and Aquatics Center. The project will cost the town about $14,600, which will come out of contingency funds. Johnston County schools will share in the cost, chipping in $15,600.

Last month, SRAC had to shut down its Splash Park for about a week because its last working water heater broke. The council went ahead and replaced one heater to reopen the Splash Park and asked Parks and Recreation director Tim Johnson to come up with a recommendation for the remaining heaters.

The SRAC has five heaters for its swimming pools: two for the Splash Park and three for the large pool. Now all but one will be replaced; the last one still has about six months of life left.

Last month, councilmen asked why the heaters were breaking down so soon; the SRAC isn’t that old. At the time, Johnson said the contractor improperly installed residential heaters instead of commercial heaters for the pools.

At last week’s meeting, Johnson said he was mistaken. Originally, he had spoken with the company that built the pool, which had said the heaters were “more like residential heaters.” Since then, Johnson has spoken with the school system and the architect, which said the heaters were appropriate for use in commercial pools; they’re just not the highest end of heater.

“I’ll take the blame for that,” Johnson said.

The new heaters will be on the higher end, using cupronickel rather than copper in the heat exchangers, Johnson said.

Other business

The council signed off a paving project that will resurface 1.5 miles of town streets.

The council heard an update on electricity: Customers will soon see higher bills because state lawmakers have raised the sales tax on electricity to 7 percent from 3 percent.

The council said yes to a rezoning request that will allow St. Joseph of the Pines to open an elder-care in the former Kmart and Heilig-Meyers buildings on West Market Street near Wilson’s Mills Road.

The council asked staff to look into standing water and a loud humming noise on Pine and Birch streets.

Seligson: 919-836-5768

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