Community leaders discuss proposed Thompson Park pool project


Community leaders discuss proposed Thompson Park pool project

pWATERTOWN — The director of the Watertown YMCA has suggested that the city look at all of its options before jumping into the project to replace the idle pool at Thompson Park. /ppPeter W. Schmitt, the Y’s executive director, told members of the Citizens Advisory Board on Thursday that the city should at least consider other projects before deciding to move forward with spending between $1.5 million to $2 million for a new pool at the historic city park./pp“I’d like to suggest it’s time to move on, to take on something else,” he told the group of community and business leaders. /ppInstead of looking at “what it has been,” City Council should “look at what it will be.”/ppMr. Schmitt also pointed out that the city will find it difficult to find lifeguards to work at the new Thompson Park pool, adding that his organization has a difficult time finding them for its pools./ppOn Monday, four members of the City Council informally agreed to replace the 92-year-old pool that has sat idle for three years. Council members Cody J. Horbacz, Stephen A. Jennings, Mark C. Walczyk and Tersea R. Macaluso have said many of their constituents support bringing back the pool./ppMayor Joseph M. Butler Jr. was the only holdout, contending he wants to find out about the funding and financing for the project before making a commitment./ppMr. Schmitt specifically mentioned creating a splash park at the park instead, saying that it would bring “a different demographic” to the park than the pool. Local developer Brian S. Murray agreed that younger families would rather see a splash park there, adding some type of climbing gear also would be popular./ppBut Mayor Butler insisted the splash park will be built, no matter what happens with the pool proposal./ppCity staff have expressed reservations about the pool project. They have said it’s an expensive project that would only be used about two months out of the year./ppOn Monday, the Friends of Thompson Park also came out in support of replacing the pool. The Friends — a group of community leaders who want to preserve the park’s past while looking at its future — has agreed to handle fundraising efforts for the pool project./ppThe iconic pool closed in 2013 because of its deteriorating condition. The city operates pools at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds and the North Street Elementary School. /ppReplacing the Thompson Park pool became a campaign issue last fall, with council candidates Horbacz and Walczyk promising to support the project. /p
Source: Watertown Daily Times Latest News
Community leaders discuss proposed Thompson Park pool project

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