Germond’s Pool discussion leads busy Clarkstown board workshop
BY MARIA BROWNSELL
At this week’s Town Board Workshop Meeting in Clarkstown, the room was packed with citizens concerned about their town pool. The majority was there in support of keeping the pool open, with a select few more worried about an almost two percent tax increase than a few months of swimming.
Superintendent of Recreation and Parks Jo Anne Pedersen brought forth a study conducted by Robert W. de Bruin about the needed repairs and cost estimates of Germond’s Pool. Germond’s Pool was built in 1972 and opened in 1973, making it over 40 years old and beginning to show its wear. Water loss and health department compliance are the main goals of the updates being proposed.
Bruin said about 46,000 gallons of water are lost per day through leaks in the liner, piping, pool structures and lighting fixtures. After a Clarkstown resident, Frank Grandel, asked about price, it was revealed that about $20,000 a year go to water loss at the pools. This number is up significantly in the past two years according to Pedersen, which is what sparked the look into improvements.
Recommended improvements include replacing the liners on all three pools or to abandon lining them and instead building new surge tanks, new piping, pumping equipment and filters. These items would cost $1.6 million. Bruin also mentioned some extras, such as new decks, padding in the training and water features that would cost another $900,000.
With the amount of work that needs to be done and the cost, will Germond’s Pool be open on time next year? That’s what much of the room eagerly waited to find out. In order for that to happen, Bruin’s study recommended a two phase project. The first phase would cost $350,000, taking care of some of the piping and the lining on the main pools, not the training pool.
This work would allow the pool to be open for next June. After which the rest of the work, such as pumps and filtration, could be done. If all is done at once, with construction starting in March 2015 and end August of 2015, keeping the pool closed the entire season.
“I would strongly advocate for Germond’s Pool to stay open,” opined Councilwoman Shirley Lasker. The other board members all agreed to break the project into the two parts in order to open the pool for both seasons. Councilman George Hoehmann introduced the idea of making the pool a public-private partnership to save the residents money, but some other board members were concerned if that would allow non-residents to use the pool also.
After all the talk of the pool, Pedersen also talked about short and long range priorities for all areas of the Recreation and Parks Department. Comptroller Ed Duer will make a new breakdown of the budget for everyone to see that includes a revision of how much debt will be retired each year.
Deputy Town Attorneys Jeff Millman and Keith Cornell gave a presentation about the Town Ethics Committee recommendations regarding taping conversations and other similar matters, which was sparked by last year’s “Sparaco Tapes” situation. They came to the conclusion that when there is town business being discussed, taping is barred from video and audio taping without consent from everyone in the room. The Ethics Committee also proposed amending employee handbooks to include this rule. Councilman Hoehmann recommended a strong overhaul of Clarkstown’s Ethics Code and cited the Town of Greenburg’s code as a positive example.
The Police Department informed the room about four new arrests at massage therapy locations, Keum Tree Spa in New City, Green Spa in Bardonia, New City Spa, and Nanuet Spa. Out of 26 massage therapy business, 22 have been shut down for not being legitimate. Millman said the town should be receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
Lasker mentioned how this isn’t a victimless crime and how young girls are often trafficked into this trade and are not there by choice.
“Don’t do it in Clarkstown!” said Lasker.