MILLERSPORT – The village’s swimming pool wraps up its 43rd season next week. It likely won’t reopen next year.
It’s fate came up as Mayor Dean Severance was promoting the pool volunteers takeover of the fried baloney sandwich booth at the Sweet Corn Festival. Council member Gary Matheny questioned whether council is backing off its consensus at its March 11 meeting that this would be the pool’s last year.
Matheny doesn’t want to mislead volunteers, particularly Dirk and Lesa Brown, about its planned closure. Council members didn’t formally take action on March 11 to close the pool after this season, but none objected Tuesday night to that outcome.
Karen Severance, Mayor Dean Severance’s wife, had proposed in March that voters make the final decision by putting a levy for its operation on the ballot. That didn’t happen for the November ballot. Her suggestion to revive the park board did happen.
Street commissioner and park board member Gilbert Arnold repeatedly called the pool a “money pit” Tuesday night and said it is time to spend money on other types of recreation. The money spent subsidizing the pool should be used to develop Veterans Park, he said. Arnold suggested a walking path and basketball courts.
Fiscal officer Susan Ramsey said the pool is currently running at a $4,600 deficit this year which is less than recent years. She cautioned that some expenses, including some payroll must still be made. Mayor’s assistant Vince Popo reported that the Board of Public Affairs said the pool used over a million gallons of water this season. Severance and several council members questioned the amount, wondering whether the meter is working properly.
The Board of Public Affairs which runs the village’s water and sewer plants has donated the water for the pool in the past, but may be balking at such a high quantity this year.
Only Police Chief Mark Consolo supported continued operation. He call it a hard to duplicate activity for the entire family. He said the pool provides an activity for hundreds of kids each summer.