Monday, December 21, 2009

Planning Committee pool meeting - December 21

The Planning Committee met tonight to discuss the pool. Several members of both the PBC and Energy Commission were there.

The end result was to further reduce down the possibilities of bubble alternatives. The former Council took it from six responses to four responses. And tonight the Planning Committee (Sima, Schrumm, Adinolfi) unanimously whittled the list down further to two - Open-Aire and KBE.

OpenAire builds the greenhouse-like structures.

KBE is much more of a conventional building. Based on the discussion, it seemed that it was favored as the second choice because it had the lowest price and was designed by the same architect of both the Dodd and CHS expansions.

I think that as the meeting began the idea was to select two structures and ask PBC and Energy to create an apples-to-apples life cycle cost for each. That is, just because the KBE structure has an initial proposed cost of $4.1 million... it may ultimately cost more than the initial proposed cost of $5.4 million for an Open-Aire building. PBC member Keith Goldberg explained some of the very likely costs of going with KBEs steel structure that may not exist with an Open-Aire aluminum structure.

Justin Adinolfi suggested taking this apples-to-apples approach one step further. So the Pool Working Group (Planning, PBC & Energy) will also try to compare the costs/benefits of the two structures with those of the bubble. I think that makes sense.

The Planning Committee's goal is to go to referendum with this by June. As for me, I don't see any point in spending money on a special referendum if the project can't be finished before the next heating season. In other words, there is a drop dead date after which this should just wait until the November election... that also makes a significant difference. Turnout is almost certain to be much higher in a general election, than in a special referendum.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

We must be careful. When the present pool was built the town council was misled. Unbeknown to the Town Council the Town Engineer and Town Manager recommended a contractor from out of state that never built a pool before. The council must depend on inputs and recommendations from the professionals employed by the town. Personally, I would be willing to pay up to 10% more to higher a qualified contractor within Connecticut. Cheshire should be given two choices; seasonal or permanent. Based on the current usage, will the pool support itself? How many summer patrons will not use a closed pool? Will you have to air condition the pool enclosure in the summer as well as heat the water. The TC should have an independent survey done and see the type of pool the residents prefer; if any.

Anonymous said...

Q - "How many summer patrons will not use a closed pool?"

A - All of them

Anonymous said...

If and when it gets to referendum perhaps besides the choice of which type of cover, there should be the choice of just making it a summer only pool. Let the voters decide. As for me now...I'm leaning towards a summer only. It'll save money and if someday someone wants to cover it, hopefully economic times will be better and maybe then it'll get done.

Anonymous said...

Will the new building also have elevated CO for us to enjoy while swimming? Nothing spices up a waterpolo game like dead brain cells.

Anonymous said...

5:34 - comments like that are unneeded. Only proves that you may be lacking a few brain cells yourself

tim white said...

If and when it gets to referendum perhaps besides the choice of which type of cover, there should be the choice of just making it a summer only pool.

My feeling is that the Council should choose to move forward with one building and send that to referendum. Additionally, I believe all nine Council members should voice their stated intention about continuing with the bubble (and the subsidy) if the referendum fails.

Personally, I'm opposed to the bubble and its energy consumption. If the referendum fails, I will remain consistent and vote against the bubble subsidy.

My caveat is if the structure fails at referendum and it becomes a summer-only facility. Then I'd consider a much smaller subsidy for the pool.

And despite denials about the existence of a summer-only pool budget... in April 2006 I was given a budget that (based on revenues & expenses from around Memorial Day to Labor Day) indicated a subsidy of $16,000 to $38,000. I'd consider something of that size... but I will continue opposing the $420,000 annual subsidy + what are probably hidden expenses, such as P&R and Fire showing up because of a snowfall.

Anonymous said...

If and when it gets to referendum perhaps besides the choice of which type of cover, there should be the choice of just making it a summer only pool. Let the voters decide.

I agree that the option of no cover/ summer-only should be presented to the voters.

So Question #1 should ask, "Do you want to turn the pool into a summer-only facility with no permanent cover?

And Question #2 should ask, "If a NO vote prevails on Question #1, do you approve the expendeture of $XXX,000. to build a permanent (type of) cover over the pool?"

Tim White said...

I was just thinking the question would be:

Do you want to build a permanent structure based on these facts - x, y, z?

A vote yes is for the permanent structure. A vote no is for a summer-only.

The bubble needs to go. I do see your point about adding clarity though.

Anonymous said...

I hope the reason for choosing KBE was not because the architect did Dodd and CHS. Neither of those buildings have pools, but they do have water leaks from the roof. Not to mention the lead architect is also a town resident, past member of the Public Building Commission. Be careful on this one.

Bubble Buddy said...

Tim, what were you and Ecke talking about in the hallway during the planning meeting? Was Ecke crying that he wasn't able to (voluntarily) speak at the meeting? LOL. Seems like Justin had no problems having a constructive dialogue with the committee.

What did the note taker say to you when you tried to ask a question toward the end of the meeting but were denied? I thought that was odd unless there's some rule about being away from meeting for an extended period of time.

Tim White said...

what were you and Ecke talking about in the hallway during the planning meeting?

I recall discussing the timing of the referendum and the cost of the structure.

What did the note taker say to you when you tried to ask a question toward the end of the meeting but were denied?

Since the meeting was called as a Planning Committee meeting (not a meeting of the full Council), then non-PC members are prohibited from talking. The one relatively unknown rule (exception) is the Council Chair because the Chair is an ex-officio member of all committees. Tim S is allowed to discuss, but not vote, all issues at any committee meeting. The rest of us are prohibited from speaking.

I think it all has to do with properly noticing the public. And while Jimmy could've asked Tim S to call a full Council meeting... considering that it's Christmas week, Jimmy may not have wanted to take a chance on calling the full Council... then lack a quorum. I haven't spoken with Jimmy about that. But that's what I would've been thinking... "the pool is important and Council members will be interested in attending... but will they even be in town / available during Christmas week?" If I chaired Planning, I would've called it for planning only.

Add to that the fact that Jimmy wants to move on this.

Anonymous said...

I think the referendum questions should read & people will choose only one of the following options:

1. Do you want the pool to be a summer only facility?

2. Do you want to cover the pool at a cost of $X,XXX,XXX (for one cover option).

3. Do you want to cover the pool at a cost of $X,XXX,XXX (for another cover option).

Of course 2 & 3 specify which option. At least the voters will be able to choose the direction they want to go with the pool. Majority rules!!

Anonymous said...

9:25 PM

The referendum for a permanent structure is a referendum for either a year round pool or a summer only facility for this reason.

If it passes the town will have a year round facility.

If it fails the bubble will have to be replaced in two or three years. (end of normal lifecycle) This can only occur when the public is once again asked at referendum to fund a replacement bubble.

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to know where that vote will go. Ergo the town has no choice and a summer only facility is born.

Anonymous said...

So I guess you're saying it's not really what the majority of the residents might want. It's the residents being directed by the TC - not the TC being directed by the residents.

Anonymous said...


The public has been screaming two things...fix it or close it. Is that not survey enough? The bottomline is the pool was built 6 or 7 years ago with a sizeable public investment. The TC can't make the determination to close it or fix it without the input of the voters. I think it realistic to assume a survey would delay action but yield a similar result...fix it or close it. Inaction is unacceptable and a survey is just more of the same old thing. Remember all the squeaking over the first pool consultant's survey data. That did that accomplish?...absolutely nothing other than delaying the inevitable...fix it or close it.

Beach way said...

I haver to say I would probably vote for a hard structure top. I don't think I need a greehhouse over the pool because we are the "bedding capital"...Rt 10 is also the "traffic capital"...we aren't going to paint an HOV lane on the pool are we? I think the fact that there were not enough members when the poll was "open air" during the summer would tell you that we don't need any retracting roofs or glass houses...

Anonymous said...

""...Rt 10 is also the "traffic capital"..."

Never heard that one. I have traveled other state roads at rush hour and found them to be more congested than Rt 10. Granted the worst spot is around Town Hall on Monday afternoons. Are you sure this is a definate title or are you assuming that we have the worst traffic?

You ever think how stupid you sound making these comments?

Anonymous said...

hey 5:08 learn how to spell cheshire high skool grudate

Anonymous said...

5:08 Have YOU ever thought about your comments?

So you assume Rt 10 only has traffic issues on Monday afternoon? I guess you don't travel up or down Rt 10 daily from 2:00 pm and on.

Anonymous said...

My Monday remark was in reference to the people protesting. On many occations I have seen people stand in the street waving signs and flags. I have called the police because it is dark and these people are putting themselves in a dangerous position. A few times I have almost hit protesters because they are not paying attention.

As for traffic, rt 10 is not that bad. The only request I would make is for Elmwood Cir to be right turn only when school gets out. Traffic would flow smoother if students didn't block the road to go north