New diving boards planned for summer; fireworks shows reduced

by Laura Bednar

Feb. 13 city council meeting

The Independence recreation department will purchase three new diving boards for the city’s outdoor pool in preparation for summer. The cost will be $17,292.

Recreation Director Tom Walchanowicz said the original plan was to refurbish the existing boards, but one board dated from 1999 and another from 2012, so the department decided to buy new.

He said there are only two commercial diving board manufacturers in the country, and the Independence pool is one of the few pools in the area with three diving boards. The boards are 16 feet long and made of aluminum with a fiberglass coating.


The city will have two fireworks shows this year, celebrating the Fourth of July (on July 3) and during the holiday drive-thru lighting event on Dec. 7. A third show during Home Days has been eliminated after council noted many residents left before the show.

Fire Chief Steve Rega said American Fireworks can charge a rainy day fee if the July show is postponed due to weather. There is no alternate date for the winter show. Independence will retain American Fireworks Company to provide both shows for $35,000, which includes the rainy day fee.

Firefighter screening

Independence firefighters can participate in a multi-cancer screening test through Grail’s Galleri. Rega said firefighters have a 50% higher risk of contracting cancer than the general public. An Assistance to Firefighters Grant will cover 95% of the $18,821 cost, and the city will pick up the remaining $941. The test screens for over 50 different cancers and is available for firefighters as young as 21, though Rega said the test is geared toward employees 50 and older.


CBIZ Insurance Services recommended that Independence choose Selective Insurance Company of America for property, automobile, inland marine insurance and excess liability coverage, and Cowbell Cyber for cyber security insurance. The total premium will be $322,302.

CBIZ representative Michael Perry said insuring Independence’s 180 vehicles costs $500 per vehicle, per year. Cyber insurance is a new addition to the policy, and Perry said artificial intelligence fraud has increased, especially in email systems.

He added that Independence “has not complied 100%” with multi-factor authentication, wherein a user must provide information such as a code sent to a user’s email, in addition to a password, before accessing systems. The cost of cyber insurance will be just over $28,000 and could be reduced if issues like authentication are addressed.

IT Director Jim Gibbs said his company, Fairsite Technologies, plans to address multi-factor authentication in the first six months of its software support contract with the city, which started March 1.

Longano Drive

City council approved Trimor Corps for the Longano Drive construction project for $2.7 million. According to legislation, the project will include a new water main, sewer construction, erosion control and new sidewalks. The project will last 10 months. ∞