Burbank City Council members on Tuesday expressed disappointment with what they said was a lack of communication with the public on the prolonged closure of the Verdugo Pool, which has been closed since 2008.
Mayor Dave Golonski said he'd received feedback from residents who don't typically weigh in on city issues, “but the consistent theme is that the silence from the city on the Verdugo pool has been deafening. And they're right. They're absolutely correct.”
Councilwoman Emily Gabel-Luddy agreed and called for much needed “face time” with the community through a public outreach meeting at Verdugo Park to keep residents informed about the progress of the project.
The comments came as the City Council approved a nearly $5.2-million construction contract with Novus Construction to revamp the pool facility. The total budget for the project is roughly $7.3 million and will include a new 50-meter pool, the addition of a second pool with water slides, and locker rooms.
The project is slated for completion in April 2013.
“As we go through this … I hope we can fill in some milestones and get some reporting mechanism to make sure we are hitting those milestones,” Golonski said. “I don't want to be around if we miss the 2013 season.”
The pool has been closed since 2008 due to structural and mechanical issues and several delays, including a redesign and questions during the bidding process, Assistant Director of City Engineering Sean Corrigan has said.
Councilman Jess Talamantes also expressed disappointment with the delays and called for monthly progress reports on the construction.
Golonski said the redesign of the pool added about another year to the project timeline, and while he wasn't going to second-guess the decision, he said it was made without informing the council or the public.
“That's our failure,” City Manager Mike Flad said.