(Joe Viechnicki/KFSK)

Some young swimmers in Petersburg are back in the community pool this week. The facility is yet to reopen to the general public but Petersburg’s borough assembly Monday approved money for fixing some damaged heating and air handling systems.

The lap pool and leisure pools at the borough facility were closed the week of January 13th after cold weather caused multiple problems in the building. In late January the borough pumped out most of the water in the pools to locate and fix a leak. Employees and private companies have been working to get boilers, air handlers and heating systems repaired and running again.

Borough manager Steve Giesbrecht last week had said the pools may not reopen to the public until February 17th. On Monday he told the borough assembly that swimmers are back in the pools this week.

The lap pool was at 81 degrees, the leisure pool at 91 and a half,” Giesbrecht said. “Those are warm enough to swim in. Our challenge continues to be the pool deck which is at 79.7. So it’s a little cold for some of the little ones on the pool deck. Really will not be able to get that up until we get the repairs done to the HVAC system. We have reached out to both the school and the Viking Swim Club and working on scheduling to get them back swimming if they in fact want to. I think Viking Swim Club will take us up on it, I’m not as sure about the school.”

Viking Swim Club has restarted practices this week. That team is competing at age group championships in Ketchikan in the middle of this month. Some school swim programs also restarted this week.

Meanwhile, the borough is hiring Ketchikan Mechanical to replace damaged coils in heat exchangers and air handlers. Some of that damaged equipment is making it difficult to keep the facility warm enough. Giesbrecht told the assembly that work will likely happen overnight and not require additional closures at the recreation center.

“They’re going to be here two days,” the manager said. “So one day they’ll do one unit, the other they’ll do the other, but they’ll exchange out. They’ll shut one coil line down, replace it, put it back in service then do the other one, do the same on the heating system. So, if everything goes as planned, no one will know the difference other than the building will start to warm up a little bit.”

That work will cost $36,299.85. The assembly approved that spending unanimously. The money is not in this year’s borough budget but could come from the borough’s property development fund. Money in that fund comes from sale of borough land and buildings along with the tax revenue from marijuana sales.