A little rust won't stand in the way of Grandview Heights' unofficial start to summer.

Although oxidation has been found on a portion of the Grandview Heights Municipal Pool, Mayor Ray DeGraw said city officials are confident the issue will be resolved and won't tarnish the pool season.

The rust was discovered on a portion of stainless steel in the wall on the north end of the pool as it was being filled with water, DeGraw said.

"We're not sure what is causing the rust," he said. "The important thing is we know that it can be easily removed and it poses absolutely no health risk."

The rust is only on the surface of the stainless steel, DeGraw said.

The city has made initial contact with two firms that may provide the rust-removal service, he said.

"We'll bring someone in and we'll be using an environmentally friendly cleaner to get the rust off," DeGraw said. "It will remove the rust, but it's a mild cleaner that will still leave some discoloration.

"The pool will be clean and safe, but we'll wait until the fall to use a harsher cleaner that will remove the discoloration and restore the pool to looking brand new," he said. "The main thing is we want to get the rust removed quickly so that we can move toward opening the pool on time."

The pool is set to open for the summer at 1 p.m. May 25 as part of the city's annual Memorial Day weekend activities, DeGraw said.

The cleaner that will be used is similar to chemicals used to clean stainless-steel equipment in kitchens, he said.

The city brought in CTL Engineering on May 7 to conduct tests to try to determine why the rust has formed, DeGraw said.

The experts with whom the city has consulted have offered a variety of ideas about what caused the rust, "but it's all speculation at this point," he said.

The theories range from how the stainless steel was installed, an issue with the manufacturing of the steel itself, the steel reacting to a brush used to clean the pool, or the possibility that the rust was blown into the pool from a source outside the complex, he said.

"Everybody has an idea, but no one really knows for sure," DeGraw said.

The facility opened in 2017.

"It is odd, very odd, because this is not an issue you would expect in the third year of a pool," DeGraw said. "We want to try to find out the cause and make sure it's an isolated issue."

Memorial Day events

The pool's opening will follow several traditional events planned to mark Memorial Day.

The city's parade will step off at 10 a.m. May 25 and travel down First Avenue from Cambridge Boulevard to Pierce Field.

Following the parade, the Grandview Baseball and Softball Association will open its season at Pierce Field.

The community's observance of Memorial Day will begin May 23 with the annual Blue Star Mothers Memorial Day Service. The service will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Park, located on Northwest Boulevard at Oxley Road.

The Memorial Day service will be the first held since the completion of a second phase of a project to enhance the park.

"The improvements at the park have made it a more meaningful place for people to think and reflect about the sacrifices made by those serving our country," recreation supervisor Marta Durban said.

"It was always a special park, but Memorial Park is just beautiful now," she said.

The second improvement project completed in November, in time for Veterans Day, included the addition of five stone columns, each representing a branch of U.S. military service. The front of each column is adorned with the emblem and motto of the respective military branch; on the back of each column is a word -- freedom, honor, country, sacrifice or duty -- to signify the meaning of military service.

A plaza was installed between the columns and seating walls were installed.

The second set of additions was funded in part by a donation by Grandview resident Dr. Tom Williams. A previous donation by Williams and his late wife, Lowell, helped fund the placement of the statue of a soldier at the park in 2015.

The Memorial Day service includes the reading of the roll of honor by the Grandview Heights High School senior class president. Boy Scout Troop 73 members will place poppies on the wall of honor as each name of a Grandview or Marble Cliff resident who gave his or her life in service to the country is read.

The event also will include a rifle volley and music by bagpipe player Jeff Lynn.

"His playing adds so much to what's already a moving ceremony," Durban said. "It's hard not to cry as you reflect on what Memorial Day's all about."

In case of rain, the service will be moved to the auditorium at Grandview Heights High School, 1587 W. Third Ave.

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