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Pool opening marks official start to summer

Who can forget summer 2020? It was a time to get creative when it came to summer activities. The small yards around Etna Borough were crammed with kiddie pools and sprinklers. Amazon trucks were ever-present on our streets, helping to deliver new grills and lounge chairs, all to help recover some semblance of “summer fun.” We had a surplus of family time last year, which was the silver lining to that tumultuous time. What we missed was spending time with our neighbors, especially at the pool and playground.

Flash forward to June 12, 2021, and it’s a different story. While the pandemic is certainly not over, we are so fortunate to have seen the vaccination rates go up and infection rates go down. Etna residents are thrilled to return to our beloved pool to beat the summer heat. With all restrictions lifted for outdoor activities, the pool's opening weekend saw the return of die-hard pool-goers (we’re looking at you, Ginny!) and new community members.

Mayor Tom Rengers reflected on seeing the pool open for the first time in two years:

“Sandy (Tom's wife, First Lady of Etna) and I walked over to the playground at about 11:45 to see just what the opening day would look like after the yearlong hiatus. Well, I have to say it was truly uplifting. Everyone was smiling as bright as the sun was shining. Retired couples, families with young children, and teens were all represented in the first fifteen minutes of opening day. The workers, a mix of returning and new guards, tag checkers, and a new look refreshment operation were happy to be there. Don't you just love it when the plan comes together? As an old friend reported, the water temperature was perfect and the pool heater was on. For me, it was so nice to sit up in the gazebo, sipping ice tea and people watch."

The time when the pool was closed, while difficult, was at least put to good use. We checked in with Etna Borough Manager, Mary Ellen Ramage, to find out what work was accomplished during the off-year. She explained,

“We had noticed the previous summer that our water bill was escalating at an alarming rate. With the pool open, we were unable to check for water leaks. During the downtime, we brought in a water leak expert who found a good size leak in a line underneath the pool. The Borough was able to have that line repaired through a lining process at a cost of roughly $15,000 and have already seen the reduced water loss. We also did a good deal of concrete work in the walls and the cap around the top of the pool as well as a good overhaul of the pool heater.”

Pool patrons are thrilled to see the pool up and running again; everyone can appreciate the work that was put into this important community asset to ensure that residents can enjoy it for years to come. So, as Mayor Tom would say, it’s time to

“put on your sunscreen and get in the swim of things!”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Happy summer, everyone!

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