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Coplay considers future of borough pool

Coplay Borough Council had a lengthy discussion regarding the future of the municipal swimming pool during the Oct. 4 workshop meeting.

Councilmember Charles Sodl presented information gathered by Secretary Kimberly Bachman regarding the 2022 revenue from the borough pool. The total revenue was $25,937, with the total expenses coming in at $67,797.31.

Sodl voiced concern this downward trend certainly could continue through 2023.

“As a member of a governing body, we need to make sound business decisions regarding how we spend taxpayers’ money,” Sodl said.

Sodl is concerned the pool expenses should be allocated to other important areas in the borough, such as fire, police and roads. He suggested eliminating funding for the pool in 2023.

Councilmember Janet Eisenhauer said she believed council should “brainstorm” to come up with ideas and alternatives on how to possibly keep the pool open.

Councilman Mark Molitoris, parks and recreation committee chairman, asked if past pool revenue amounts could be gathered for review. He noted the borough is providing a service to the community by having the pool, even though it is not bringing in revenue.

Council President Lou Bodish suggested the parks and recreation committee be given time to make a plan on how to move forward with operating the pool.

Eisenhauer, finance chair, indicated the first draft of the 2023 budget is going to be revealed at the November workshop. Changes can still be made after that point.

In other business, Mayor Stephen Burker said he and Bill Loy, co-chair of Coplay Community Days, are interested in assisting with funds to enhance a classroom at the borough office building on Fourth Street to act as a police training room. Police Chief Ryan Emerich said a classroom furnished with window blinds, a projector, tables and chairs for approximately 36 officers would be ideal. The officers would not only be from Coplay Borough, but other municipalities as well, and could take advantage of specialized training offered by professionals from all over the country.

Right now, Coplay officers need to travel hours away to be able to participate in some classes, which entails expenses. If the borough has this classroom, the training can happen right in Coplay. The professionals who conduct these various training classes provide certifications that will only enhance officers’ skills.

Councilman Rick Kern reported the federal body camera grant application was canceled since the borough received a state grant for body cameras in the amount of $36,514. With this grant, there will be no additional cost to the borough for the cameras.

Eisenhauer mentioned the Coplay Public Library has its book and bake sale scheduled for 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 7. This is the library’s biggest fundraiser.

Also, the library is still in need of a director and an assistant director.

Council will be holding its next regular meeting 7 p.m. Oct. 11.