posted on April 18, 2011 16:10
In LeRoy, it may be a permanent ending for a summer tradition. But that ending is being deemed necessary by village officials.
The Village Swimming Pool has become too costly for public operation, and Village Mayor Ged Brady plans to propose the final closure of the pool in June. The pool has not been operational since 2009. Brady tells WBTA, it’s simple: costs are up, and attendance is down.
"We had something like 1,500 turns of the turnstile (in summer 2009), and if one kid went five times, that counts as five, not as one," says Brady, highlighting the under-usage at the pool.
The pool was also accruing maintenance costs at an unsustainable rate. Brady says the straw that broke the camel's back was the need for a new drain cover.
"It kind of brought all the other things to a head," he says. "So we had our engineer take a look at it. It was over $400,000" to make all necessary repairs and upgrades.
Brady attributes the low attendance to the onset of family pools. "Not very many people had pools in their backyards. The plastic pools weren't around back then," he says, referring to the 1970's. That was the last time the village pool was on the chopping block, according to Brady.
But a band of citizens came together then and raised the necessary funds to keep the pool open. They privatized it under the name LeRoy Pool, Incorporated. Brady says the plan then was to keep the pool privately owned – but for whatever reason, it came back into public ownership.
Now, Brady is hoping something similar will happen again. He's encouraging anyone to step forward before June 8th with a viable plan to privatize the pool. There is a process by which the pool and surrounding land can be transferred to private ownership.
Otherwise, Brady is prepared to go to the Village Board's June 8th meeting and make a resolution to close the pool for good.
"It's very regrettable. It's not a happy thing to do," says Brady. But in the current economic climate, and being in New York State, "it's something you have to face," he said.
"It's difficult times...and it's going to be even more difficult in the next couple of years."
The LeRoy Public Swimming Pool is located in Wildwood Park on Munson Street. That’s on the west side of the Village of LeRoy.