Sunday, April 06, 2008

Pool referendum

As promised...

I stopped by the Town Clerk's office recently. I went directly to the October 1996 section of the "Council documents book." There I found the pool referendum:Several thoughts...

Hopefully in the future there won't be anymore town residents getting berated at Council meetings for suggesting that the pool was supposed to be self-sustaining (see #9).

And it's also worth noting the question seems clear to me that the pool was supposed to be an indoor / outdoor facility (see question and #5).

Thing is though... is the Council serious about energy conservation or not? I'm serious about it. And I'm acutely aware that conserving energy does not always provide for one's optimal quality of life (This winter, when I've been alone, I've turned the heat way down and bundled up because of the cost of oil).

Regardless... all things considered, we need to consider alternatives to the bubble and, IMO, start addressing the bubble's insatiable energy appetite.

Tim White
Energy Commission, Town Council liaison

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is no question that a town this size should not have a pool. Not doing anything about this energy guzzler is a crime. Call it what you will but something needs to done ASAP. Please, whatever you do don't spend more money on consultants. We should be able to figure this out on our own.

tim white said...

In a 7-2 Council vote in November 2006, the Council voted to waste $19,500 on a pool consultant.

Tom Ruocco and I were the two dissenting votes.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps we should have just attached the pool to the high school and the BOE could have used their rainy day funds to take care of the upkeep.

Anonymous said...

If we could reallocate the $900K Adinolfi got for pretty sidewalks on W. Main we'd have a pretty good size down payment against a permanent fix. Why does the state fund stuff we don't need and stiff us for stuff we do need?

Anonymous said...

It isn't the state's fault we are in this predicament with the pool. It is the TC members who would rather hire consultants than fix the problem.

Anonymous said...

4:01 has a good point though. It will be the TC's fault though if they vote to accept $525,000 for a turf field that we don't need and that will cost us in the long run. They should either request that the State allows them to use it towards the pool or they should refuse the funds. If another town wants to waste money on a turf field, let them.

Anonymous said...

What sort of enclosure could we get for the $1.425 M in unnecessary pork barrel project the state wants to fund in town?

Lets spend money where it is really needed, not on stupid luxury items

Anonymous said...

The pool was supposed to be self-sustaining. Who did the study & why have the results been so disappointing? Is it revenue shortfalls, rampant expenses or both? There are 2 ways to increase revenue - raise prices or increase users. The 3rd,I guess, would be to have the residents pay via a line item in the budget. If the energy costs are "contained" will this make it at least break-even? I wasn't a resident in 1996 and don't use the pool. It appears to be a giant mistake that costs the taxpayers every year that it's there. All these studies are a joke. This place is nothing but a money pit. At some point we need to face facts & move on without the pool. We could spend a huge sum on a permanent structure that might cut energy costs but if it doesn't drive more users, what's the point?

Anonymous said...

I beg to differ! No discussion of the pool is complete without stressing that it serves 1000s of kids and adults. Exercise, competitive swimming, learning to swim (West Hartford had drownings so they built pools.) The price of energy has gone up how much since it was promised to be self sustaining? Who could have predicted that? Yes, let's explore alternatives but let's drown the baby with the bath water. Diane Visconti

Anonymous said...

yikes!! I meant,of course, let's NOT drown...ddv

Anonymous said...

Many towns have a "community" pool that thousands enjoy & learn to swim at - it's the YMCA. Do towns subsidize the Y? Isn't it the Cheshire/Southington Y? They have a pool. Members pay to use it - not me. The Town budgets money for such things as the linear trail & library. I understand that not everyone in town uses those but they also don't require a fee if you do.

Anonymous said...

Something has to be done. The taxpayers cannot continue to fork over close to a half a million a year to keep this going. The Town Council has to get off their backsides and really address the issue once and for all. Next year the costs will only be higher. The bubble not only has a problem with increased heating costs it also creates an atmosphere that promotes mold. We're never going to increase membership with the awful conditions at the pool (leaks, bacteria and mold).

Anonymous said...

We could spend a huge sum on a "permanent structure that might cut energy costs but if it doesn't drive more users, what's the point?"

How about actually having a useful pool for all the money we've spent already

Once again, if we applied all the stupid state grant money on something the town desperately needs we'd be well on our way to paying for something we could be proud of

The Bubble will need to be replaced sooner or later. Sooner is better than later

Anonymous said...

To Diane Visconti or Tim...

Do you have the number of Cheshire residents that actually use the pool?
Just curious what percentage of the 30,000 residents use the pool on an average basis.

That number can and should help sway the council.

Tim White said...

10:53 Town staff uses a number around 40,000 to 45,000 "day users" per year. Of course, as I've said here before... by that measure, we should start saying Cheshire has 10,000,000 "day residents" (27,000 people x 365).

In truth, I have no idea how many people use the pool. USA swimming provided a number of 10% of the population. But I'm not sure if that includes "one-time" events, such as birthday parties or scuba classes... all things which do add to Cheshire's quality of life.

For my part... I don't use the pool, but know there are a good number of users. I don't even mind the pool having some level of subsidy (it is gov't)... but it's got to be much smaller... and we've got to get serious about energy consumption... either thru a permanent structure or a summer-only facility.

tim white said...

I wish I had posted the "pool bubble" motion from tonight's meeting. I'm sure you'd all enjoy reading it. Maybe I'll post it before going to the meeting tonight... which btw, we'll also be discussing the financial software tonight. Along with the pool... I imagine there will be some interesting discussion tonight.

Anonymous said...

Diane,
You are mistaken on the prediction of energy costs. There was a study done on the design and its' energy costs if the pool was built. The study was done by a well known local firm. The findings of the study was simply, do not build the pool with a bubble. The reason; at the time and at the time's energy costs it was too expensive for energy. To break even under that proposal, 25% of the households or 2500 households had to purchase a family membership in order for the pool to break even. The Town had the data on operating/energy costs and they knew how many family memberships were required to breakeven. The problem is people chose to ignore the data.

Anonymous said...

Another rubberstamp

Anonymous said...

We tried to do this the first time "on the cheap" and it has cost us dearly