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The City of Tonawanda is seeking an $800,000 state Division of Youth grant to fund major repairs and renovations to the Kohler Street Municipal Swimming Pool.

The City Council at a work session Tuesday went over preliminary cost estimates for the work that totaled more than $1 million, according to a package that was prepared by Wendel Engineers of Buffalo.

Wendel was hired in June to evaluate deficiencies and recommend improvements to the 33-year-old swimming pool and two antiquated wading pools at Ives Pond Park and Fletcher Street.

For two years in a row, the wading pools failed to meet state Health Department standards for lack of adequate filtration and chlorination systems.

David Ketchum, a Wendel architect, Tuesday presented a two-phase plan to renovate the Kohler pool. The first phase would cost $807,000, including $222,000 to install new wading pools at Ives Pond Park and Fletcher Street.

Additionally, phase one includes about $111,000 in architectural renovations and plumbing repairs to the Kohler pool bathhouse, about $41,000 in new lighting and more than $182,000 to install a new pool liner, deck, sidewalks and replace a chain-link fence around the pool site.

Also in the first phase is $90,000 for a 125-foot water slide.

The second phase calls for expanding the bathhouse to include a youth center at $454,000.

Realistically, city officials are hoping for a state grant large enough to cover at least most of phase one of the project.

The city's grants consultant, Lucy Curley Teresei, Tuesday informed the Council that she believed the city's chances of receiving such a grant were fair to good. The Division of Youth, she explained, has about $25 million in grant money available to fund youth-oriented projects statewide.

While adding a youth center at the pool could enhance the city's chances, she said, the grant does not require the city build one.

The fact that the city has only one municipal pool serving its youth would qualify renovation of Kohler pool as a worthy, youth-oriented project, she said.

The cost of replacing the wading pools will not be included in the city's grant application.

Alderman Jack Gallagher, chairman of the Council's Recreation Committee, said the Council will likely include only the costs for repairing the pool in the 1991 city budget in hopes that the grant will come through.

He said the city may know by April whether its grant application is approved.

Alderman John Bartolomeo added:

"Whether we proceed with the entire project or not, or whether we get a grant or not, something has got to be done to make sure that pool is ready to be opened by next summer."

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