By Jeffery Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
CORNING - Hard times for the city’s most heavily used municipal pools, which serves hundreds and hundreds of swimmers each summer, may have been diverted.
The City Council recently approved purchasing a $220,000 Denison Park Pool filtration system. City Manager Mark Ryckman said if not purchased, the popular pool would not open next summer.
“The issue is, the pool now is not operational,” Ryckman told the council prior to the vote. “We will not be able to open in the summer without a new filtration system.”
Ryckman said the thought is that if the council wants to retain swimming at Denison Park as we work through a study to determine what type of facility the council does or doesn’t want for the long term the council needs to purchase a new filtration system.
“Or we can leave the pool closed as we go through the process,” Ryckman said. “Those are the two options.”
The council unanimously voted to purchase the filtration systems which will be installed at the pool early this spring.
Councilman Frank Muccini, R-5, initially questioned purchasing the needed filtration system.
“The study we will do on the two city pools talks about decommissioning in 2020,” Muccini said. “That’s about three years away, so are we throwing good money after bad. What are we doing?
Ryckman said if the council decided to have some type of aquatic facility, the system will likely be reused. If not, it has some resale value.
“Possibly (decommissioned) is not set in concrete,” said Mayor Rich Negri.
Councilman Steven Maio, D-1, said Denison Park Pool is in the ward he represents and is part of the main gateway to the city.
“I don’t want people to see when they drive into our city through my ward a sewer plant on one side and a derelict pool on the other side,” Maio said. “If this work isn’t done that is what people are going to see."
Maio said the possible strategic plan may include closing the pool in the future.
“I’m not going to be in favor of that,” Maio said.
The council recently set a preliminary strategy to decommission and raze the aging pools, and convert the Denison and Stewart park pools into new aquatic facilities.
Under the proposed plan
2017 - Replace the filtration system at Denison Park Pool.
2018 - Decommission of Stewart Park Pool and the construction of an aquatic facility at Stewart Park.
2018 & 2019 - Transfer city swimming programs currently held at both the Denison and Stewart park pools to a renovated pool at the Corning-Painted Post School High School.
2020 - Decommissioned of Denison Park Pool.
2021 - Construction of an aquatic facility at Denison Park.