Residents that approached Hamburg Borough Council at its March 24 meeting with concerns area children will have nowhere to swim this summer may now be breathing a bit easier.

Tamra Adam presented a petition signed by 169 citizens requesting the borough pool not be closed for renovations during the summer season, and instead see repairs after the hot weather subsided.

"We know the pool needs work," Adam conceded. "We're the ones who have suits that are white from all the chlorine. But why during the summer season? A season is a long time for a child."

Adam said she feared that on excessively hot days children would turn to swimming in the Schuylkill River if the pool was closed - a move that could, and has, resulted in death.

"We know what will happen," Adam said. "Burkey & Driscoll and Leibensperger's (funeral homes) will be in business."

Council President Tammy Wilkinson said the work is slated for this summer because some grant money received to do it must be used by a June deadline.

At press time, Wilkinson said council was looking to open and award bids for the approximately $600,000 to $700,000 project on May 8, with construction set to start by June.

Residents at the meeting also worried they would not be able to use nearby Shoemakersville Borough's pool, as word was the municipality was looking to double rates for users from Hamburg.

Such worries were put to rest at Shoemakersville Borough Council's April 4 meeting when rates for residents and non-residents to use the pool were set.

Except in the case of non-resident families and senior citizens, Wilkinson said Shoemakersville's rates are actually cheaper than Hamburg's.

Now that rates for the facility have been set, those looking for season passes are able to purchase them.

Wilkinson said Hamburg is also in talks with BARTA to incorporate a stop to or near the Shoemakersville Pool on its bus route.

Contact Nikki M. Murry at nmurry@berksmontnews.com.

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