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W.O. Council Votes to Keep Pool Guidelines

By Sarah Turnbull
The Tube City Almanac
June 29, 2021
Posted in: White Oak News

White Oak council will continue its current policy of allowing only passholders into Heritage Hill Pool this summer.

The policy was enacted as part of COVID-19 protocols, but as the number of new cases has sharply fallen, Pennsylvania has relaxed almost all of the restrictions imposed in March 2020.

“This season, the pool will be open to passholders only, as decided back in April,” Councilman George Pambacas said at the June meeting. “We didn’t feel comfortable opening up the pool to everyone for Community Day and then closing it again. Community Day isn’t just about the pool.”

Councilman Lou Bender concurred, saying that “unprecedented times” still face the community.

Children under 12 still cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19 and although most pandemic restrictions are now lifted, both the state Department of Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention are urging unvaccinated people to avoid large crowds, even at outdoor venues.

The White Oak Office of Emergency Management recommended keeping the pool limitation in place, borough officials said.

Councilman Ken Robb, who chairs the borough’s public works committee, said he did not agree with the restriction but would follow council’s guidance.

Borough manager John Palyo and council president Charles Davis were absent.

In other business

Borough engineer Ken Hillman reported that renovations to the borough building are going well.

The work, which began June 14, includes a new roof, new heating and air conditioning system, new restrooms and upgraded electrical system.

Work also has begun on a new roof for the White Oak Branch of the Carnegie Library of McKeesport, Hillman said, and the paving of Laurel Lane was scheduled to begin June 23.

Clearwater Construction Inc. of Mercer, Pa., was awarded the contract for the Center Street Extension Roadway Stabilization Project.

The next council workshop meeting will be held at 6:45 p.m. July 12 at the White Oak Athletic Association. The meeting is open to the public.

Sarah Turnbull is a freelance writer in Irwin. She can be reached at

Originally published June 29, 2021.

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