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South Bend Tribune (Indiana)


MISHAWAKA - An Indianapolis pool company has applied a patch on the 2-by-3-foot gash that vandals cut last week in the liner of the Merrifield Park pool, said city parks Superintendent Phil Blasko.

Park staff will start filling the pool with water this week to see if the patch holds, he said at Monday's parks board meeting. If not, the parks department will have to consider replacing the liner, which he's estimated could cost $300,000. It's unclear how much of that would be covered by insurance.

Cost for the patching will be less than the $5,000 deductible for the parks' insurance, Blasko said. But he added that the company, Natare Corp., felt confident the patch would hold, even though the hole is in the deep end where it bears the most pressure.

Also, the liner is nearing the end of its life, he said.

Mishawaka police Lt. Tim Williams said there aren't any suspects yet for the vandalism, which police believe happened sometime between 3 p.m. on Monday and noon Wednesday.

There isn't a security camera by the pool. But parks board President Reg Wagle said he cannot recall damage this severe to the pool over the past several years. The city had hoped to open the Merrifield pool by June 5.

Earlier at Monday's meeting, a landscape architect spoke to the parks board about plans for a $1 million overhaul of Mary Gibbard Park, noting that security cameras there would be included to thwart ongoing issues with park vandalism. Gibbard's small pool will be removed this spring and replaced in the next year by a splash pad.

Seeking help

Anyone with information about the vandalism at Merrifield Park pool is asked to contact the Mishawaka Police Department at 574-258-1678 or city parks Superintendent Phil Blasko at 574-258-1664.

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May 11, 2017


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