Miami Springs’ public pool is not unsafe — at least not yet, according to the Miami-Dade Health Department.
The Health Department inspected the pool after a report commissioned by the city last year described cracks and other problems found in an inspection. The city obtained the July 2012 inspection from McGrath Property Services.
“We sent an inspector out right away,” said Samir Elmir, an environmental administrator with the department. “At this time, it is not considered a safety hazard, but it is headed that way if they don’t work on it right away.”
Elmir added that the agency’s last inspection took place last December and the city earned a “satisfactory” rating. Everything in the pool was deemed safe except for a loose handrail and unsecured rope.
The Health Department’s report does not mention defects found by McGrath and discussed at the Feb. 24 Miami Springs council meeting, like pool-shell “cracks” or “fractures” where potential pool repairs were outlined.
City Manager Ron Gorland described three repair options, at the meeting, that range in cost from $250,000 to $4 million.
“I hope the City of Miami Springs can rally to come up with the funds to repair what is likely a crucial component of the community,” said Donna Valente, a spokesperson for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.
The foundation recently awarded a $5,750 “quality-of-life” grant to allow those with paralysis and other impairments to enjoy the city’s pool.
Valente added that the foundation plans to make sure the grant funds are expended properly.
When a city pool presents a “significant risk to public health,” the county health department could declare it a “public nuisance” and close it.
McGrath’s “inspection is a lot different from our inspection,” Samir said. The key difference, he explained, is that the Health Department’s inspection is not as invasive when compared to that of a structural inspection.
“From a health perspective, it is not a health hazard,” Samir said, but added: “We urge the city to take action.
“If we find it is not fit for use, it could be closed.”