HOOSICK, N.Y. -- While currently it's too cold to go for a swim, the town of Hoosick is seeking support this winter to fund repairs at the municipal pool to keep the facility open through future years.
Located at the town's Barton Avenue recreation facilities off Main Street, the outdoor pool has been a summertime resource for decades, providing both public recreation and youth swimming lessons beginning each June. But needed repairs to fix leaks and bring things up to code could prove costly.
In a letter earlier this month to community groups and organizations that have used the pool in the past, town board member Mark Surdam solicited for letters of support that the town could use to obtain possible grant money or other funding. In the Dec. 6 letter, Surdam wrote that he believed it "in everyone's best interest to make the repairs/restorations needed to keep our pool open and available to summer programs."
"Cost will be substantial"
"Although a final cost analysis has not been done yet, we expect from initial estimates that the cost will be substantial," Surdam writes. The letter also asks recipients to contact the town if they're aware of any funding opportunities.
At their regular meeting Dec. 10, town officials discussed the pool with Tom Margiotta of Petersburgh, who said the biggest concern was leaks. "(The town) really should have someone come in who's a pool expert and check for leaks" via a pressure test, he said. But "you're no different than anyone else," Margiotta continued, referring to other municipal pools around the state.
"You're all in the same boat."
The Albany-based engineering firm The Laberge Group studied the pool over the summer, indicating areas where work is needed to the lining and gunite, the cement/sand mixture used in place of concrete. Current requirements for swimming pools contained in New York's building code could necessitate additional upgrades when the work is performed, and in September board members discussed rolling other items related to the recreation facility's playground and basketball courts into the pool project.
Margiotta said he thought preliminary estimates of needed work approaching a half-million dollars were too high. Surdam said after the meeting that the town would continue researching its options.
Town officials also discussed the possibility of reducing future maintenance costs at the facility by replacing the current concessions with vending machines or a food vendor. Town historian Phil Leonard said at December's meeting that a nonprofit had run the concession stands when the pool originally opened in the mid-1960s. "They ran it completely ... and they ran it well."