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Emmitsburg looking for new pool contractor

(10/16) Following problems with this past year’s pool contractor, the Town of Emmitsburg has decided to find another pool contractor to staff the town’s public pool next year.

Emmitsburg Mayor Jim Hoover said the problem lies with the contractor that was hired last year and management issues that arose during the year.

The contractor, U.S. Aquatics, is a company that specializes in contracting with pools for management and has 75 years of experience. It is a “turnkey solution” for pools, according to the company’s web site, But Hoover sees things differently.

“We’re not happy with the service we got, we felt they could have done a better job,” Hoover said. “The issues are all related to management and oversight of staff.”

Hoover said problems occurred due to understaffing at the pool, which the U.S. Aquatics was contracted to handle.

“In most cases we were short staffed, more times than not,” Hoover said.

Town officials met with the company several times during the year and saw “some improvement” but not enough, and the decision was made to withhold some of the payment the town owed U.S. Aquatics.

Hoover did say that “some thought highly of the operation while others thought the opposite.” He also acknowledged that given Emmitsburg’s relatively distant location in regards to other pools, staffing the pool could be harder for the company to handle in Emmitsburg versus Frederick, where there are several public pools and a larger staff pool from which to pull.

Currently the town is working with the company to resolve the issue, but no agreements have been made, which has left the town with a void to fill next year in regards to a pool contractor.

This could be an issue, Hoover said, as there may not be many other contractors to hire. The issue between the town and U.S. Aquatics could be resolved, which Hoover hopes for, but even then he isn’t sure the town would hire the company again.

“Right now, as things are unsettled, absolutely no, we wouldn’t,” Hoover said. “But when things get settled you never know. They’d have to be more responsible.”

Either way, the town has plans to seek bids for another contractor for next year.

Read other news stories related to the Emmitsburg Town Government