Pool-goers soak up the sun at the Cloverdale Veterans Memorial Building swimming pool.

Updates to Cloverdale’s public pool have been a long time coming. After work was stalled for several years due to the pool needing code improvements, an injection of funds from Sonoma County’s Capital Improvement Plan has reinvigorated the renovation effort.

In 2017, the City of Cloverdale and the Cloverdale Unified School District began working with the county on a plan to get Cloverdale’s pool heated to elongate the facility’s open season and to be able to use the pool for swim education. But additions to the environmental health code, coupled with the pandemic, threw a wrench in the plan.

“Unfortunately, the new equipment could not be installed due to permitting issues,” said Cloverdale Councilmember Joe Palla. Palla, appointed to the council earlier this year, was a city champion of the pool renovation during his previous run as a council member. “One of the permitting authorities, the Department of Environmental Health, determined that recent code additions enacted since the county completed the pool resurface project in 2017 were required as a condition of permit issuance.”

According to Palla, code additions include adding additional anti-entrapment devices to the new pumps, having a separate booster pump from filtration plants, replumbing bypass lines to separate them from the main supply loop and replumbing circulation lines to reduce water flow velocity.

“This work will require extensive excavation of the pool deck to pump room for replumbing the circulation system to meet code requirements,” he said.

The work being done to bring the pool up to recent code is being funded by $100,000 from the county’s Capital Improvement Plan. But the main meat of the project — a solar pool heating system that was originally agreed upon in 2017 — is being jointly paid for by the City of Cloverdale, the Cloverdale Unified School District and the County of Sonoma.

In a 2018 interview about the project following the county passing the initial funding agreement, Palla and Cloverdale school board member Preston Addison stressed that heating the pool would ideally allow it to be open later in the year with the additional goal of the school district being able to use it as a teaching tool.

“When we entered into the solar thermal pool heater system agreement, we did not anticipate that the Department of Environmental Health would determine code additions enacted since the county completed the pool resurface project in 2017 would be required as a condition of permit issuance,” said Palla. “In addition, with the COVID-19 pandemic, it put most projects on hold.  The good news, the project (is) back on track.”

When asked about a timeline for the project, Palla said that the county, which owns the property that houses the pool and the Veterans Memorial Building, is in the middle of routing contract documents for approval. He said demolition and construction are anticipated to begin in mid-November, with the project slated for completion by the end of March 2022.

“This upgrade, and the soon to be installed solar thermal pool heater system, will serve residents of northern Sonoma County for many years,” Palla said. “With a heated pool, it will allow the city to consider expanding the months and hours that the pool is open. It will also allow Cloverdale Unified School District to include swim classes in its curriculum.”

Palla continued, “Throughout this process, the project has received full support from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, the Cloverdale Unified School District Board of Trustees and the Cloverdale City Council.  I want to thank each of them!  I also want to thank Supervisor James Gore and his team, Sonoma County General Services Director Caroline Judy and her team, for their hard work and support in keeping this project moving forward.”

Managing Editor

Zoë Strickland is the managing editor of SoCoNews. Zoë has a passion for small towns and writing articles about the people who live in them. When she’s not reporting, Zoë is passionate about baking, coffee and tending to plants.

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