My Turn: City addresses pool concerns

Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2011

In response to the recent article and editorial in the paper, I want to inform the public of how CBJ management and the Parks and Recreation Department supervisory staff are addressing the concerns raised.

Contrary to the initial story by the Empire, monthly bacterial water testing was completed for Augustus Brown Pool on Feb. 1, 2011. The results showed that all the samples were normal. In addition to the monthly water testing, pool staff tests the pH and chlorine levels in the pools three times each day. These tests, along with the results of the monthly water samples, will continue to be made available to the state and posted at the pool.

The state did issue a notice of violation in September 2010 due to having too many people in the pool during the popular “Day of Play” event. Staff is developing a monitor system to insure that the situation is not repeated. These changes mean that the public may have to wait before being allowed to enter the large or small pools.

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and CBJ administrative staff are working together to ensure we are complying with all state regulations and procedures.

With regard to the concerns expressed by the head guards and some pool staff we offer no excuses. They raised legitimate concerns that should have been addressed early on. When becoming aware of the problems, and a lack of response, upper-level management has stepped in. I met with the head guards and staff this past week to discuss their concerns. I believe the meetings were productive and the lines of communication have been opened up.

With regard to the AED battery that had expired, the battery was replaced and building maintenance staff will make sure that it is checked annually.

The schedule for lifeguards has been changed to ensure that a head guard is on duty at all times. Previously there was not a head guard on duty for 30 minutes each day. In addition, staff is scheduled to receive training on the safe handling of chemicals that are added to the pool. Only properly trained staff will be taking care of these responsibilities. Finally, we are working on the problem of staffing shortages impacting long hours and increased overtime.

We are committed to resolving existing problems and not allowing concerns to go unaddressed in the future.

• Kiefer has been the deputy city manger since 2006 and served as parks and recreation director from 1998 until 2005, She resides in Juneau.



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