Councilmember: Sunbury Community Pool seeing best year amid heat, lifted COVID limitations

·3 min read

Jul. 24—SUNBURY — The Sunbury Community Pool is having the best year it's ever had and there are many factors responsible for its successful 2021, according to a city councilman.

The Oppenheimer Playground (OPG) didn't open this year, COVID-19, and the warm weather are the factors, Councilman Jim Eister and Pool director Ron Pratt both said.

"People wanted to get out of the house once COVID-19 started to come to an end," Pratt said. "It's a combination of all of those things that have led us to a great year."

The pool's concession stand is even doing well, parks and recreation employee Carl Yoder said. "It's all been fantastic and I want to thank everyone for supporting us and coming out."

Pratt said he attempted for several months to get help for the playground and even had the money to keep the park open for the summer, thanks to private donations but just couldn't get it staffed, so the city focused on the pool.

"We grossed $45,000 so far as of today and we average about $50,000 for the year, but we are expected to pass that," Eister said. The pool will close for the year on Aug. 14 because most of the summer help will be either going back to college or high school, like lifeguard Mason Cianflone, 16, of Northumberland.

"It's been a great summer here," Cianflone said while getting ready for the day's swimmers Friday. "I like all the people and everyone has been nice."

The pool employees six people at the concession stand and 11 lifeguards, Pratt said. "We had great help this year and all-in-all it's just been a great year."

Dylan Santos, 11, of Northumberland, joined his friends, including Gage Ferguson, 13, of Sunbury, for a relaxing afternoon Friday at the pool.

"It's so much fun here," Santos said. "I get to come and hang out with my friends and swim."

Ferguson agreed.

"The pool is great," he said. "We get to come and enjoy the warm days and swim for as long as we want."

Pratt said he also had 40 people donate $100 to his Pop-Up sponsorship program.

"People wanted to get back out and the help of our community with the Pop-Up sponsors was a huge help," he said.

The program, in its second year, is designed for people to donate money so that people can enter the pool for free. The drawings are random throughout the day and it gives every person a chance to get in for free, he said.

Sandy McDonnel, 44, of Point Township, said she enjoyed the pool all summer. "It's probably the nicest pool in the area," she said. "It's also very safe and I never had any issues here."

The pool is open from 12 p.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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