CLINTON — A Clinton organization that three years ago successfully launched a campaign to keep its swimming pool open is now facing another dilemma that could threaten its future and is looking to the public for help.

Meadowview Pool is a privately run outdoor pool located on Skyline Drive near 30th Avenue North. The pool was built by the Whitlock Corp., which was developing Meadowview Heights subdivision at the time. People who lived in Meadowview Heights had the option of paying to be a member of the pool. From the 1960s and into the next couple of decades, it was a popular spot for many families.

Through the years as the number of children in the neighborhood declined, the pool board decided to open it up to people living throughout Clinton. But by spring 2006, a lack of memberships meant there would not be enough money to pay for operational costs. Prepaid memberships even were sent back to patrons and news spread that Meadowview Pool wouldn’t open.

Then, a group of residents began a rigorous campaign to let people know the pool was in danger of remaining closed for good. That publicity resulted in an uptick in people wanting to purchase memberships and the pool’s opening was secured. It was able to cover its costs through memberships, contributions and fundraisers.

And that’s how things remained for three seasons.

Then the pool board received notice that a newly enacted law will mean the board will have to come up with $2,457 to make changes to ensure children’s safety.

That legislation is known as the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act and it was passed as a means of preventing entrapment injuries and deaths at swimming pools and spas.

Under the law, which became effective Dec. 19, 2008, all public pools and spas must be equipped with new anti-entrapment drain covers as well as some type of safety vacuum release system. The cost for installation at the pool must be paid prior to scheduling and installation.

Tammy Isenhour, a pool board member, said the pool board is happy to comply with the law because safety is the board’s main concern, but the cost is going to be difficult to cover.

Isenhour said that with the pool set to open June 12, the board not only is finding itself crunched for money, but also for time. She said it has been difficult to find a business that does this type of work and that because the pool is located outdoors, plans about what needed to be done to bring it into compliance could not be determined until winter’s snow had passed and the pool could be thoroughly checked.

The board is asking that those interested in donating to the effort respond by May 15 so the pool board will be able to know what to do next.

To learn more about getting involved, volunteering or making a contribution, contact Isenhour at 242-9166 or Lori Johnson at 243-4707.

About the law

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act was named after the granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker III. She died in June 2002 after the suction from a spa drain trapped her under the water. The act was introduced by Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Florida and was supported by the Baker family and Safe Kids Worldwide.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, children ages 5 to 9 are most at risk of entrapment, in which hair, the body or a limb can be trapped. Jewelry and bathing suits also can get caught and disembowelment has happened in cases of entrapment.

From 1999-2007, there have been 74 reports of circulation entrapments, with two deaths in a public facility and seven occurring in a residential pool or spa.

The goals of the Baker act are to enhance the safety of public and private pools and spas; encourage the use of layers of protection, which are safety measures designed to keep children away from pools; to reduce the number of child drownings -- 283 each year involving children younger than 5; to reduce the number of suction entrapment incidents, injuries and deaths; and to educate the public about the importance of constant supervision of children in and around water.

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