John K. Manna
New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
United Way of Lawrence County will soon embark on its goal to bring back the Cascade Park swimming pool.
The city of New Castle and the United Way tentatively have reached an agreement on leasing the pool to the agency, allowing it to rehabilitate the facility that has been dormant for approximately 14 years.
Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo said the United Way has signed the agreement. The agreement was presented to city council at its work session Tuesday night. Council members said they need clarification on some points in the agreement and want to meet with United Way representatives at the April 22 work session before voting on the document.
United Way announced in September that restoration of the city-owned pool would be added as a project along with the 17 agencies it currently funds. United Way plans to raise funds annually for maintenance and programming at the pool.
The agency is undertaking the project because the city — financially distressed under Act 47 — does not have the financial resources to make the improvements.
Under the agreement, the city will have no obligations, financial or otherwise, with the project. The United Way “shall be responsible and liable for all aspects of the project,” including all costs, hiring of contractors, obtaining adequate liability and property insurance and liability for all fees, damages and injuries during the project.
Unless the city specifically agrees to a change in writing, the project must be completed within 24 months of execution of the agreement. The city will lease the property to the agency for $1 during that period.
The agreement requires the United Way to provide the city with proof it has obtained financing and/or capital contributions and/or in-kind commitments that are sufficient to completed the project.
United Way must submit a plan to the city and evidence of at least $150,000 in cash or “verifiable bona fide pledges or in-kind commitments for the project.”
The city shall have the right to approve or reject the project plans and require reasonable modifications.
The agreement includes an option to lease the pool to United Way for five years only upon completion of the restoration.
Under the terms of that lease, United Way will be subject to operating the pool consistent with generally accepted safety standards for operation of public swimming pools.
Other terms of the lease include the following:
•Hours of operation shall be subject to approval of the city.
•United Way may delegate management of the pool to a third party, but it must adhere to the terms and conditions contained in the agreement between the city and United Way.
•The city shall have the right to approve rates of admission for city residents.
•United Way shall provide adequate security during hours of operation.
•United Way shall be responsible for all costs of maintaining and operating the pool, including staffing, salaries and utilities.
(Email: jmanna @ncnewsonline.com)