WALLINGFORD — The town is preparing a survey to get feedback from residents on the future of Community Pool.
The survey will “evaluate the current and future recreational needs” by asking residents how often they use the pool, whether they would purchase passes to a new pool, and their preference for daily hours and the pool season, according to a draft prepared by recreation officials.
The issue was discussed at Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting.
Town officials are considering spending an estimated $4 million $5 million to redesign the facility and add new features like a splash pad; building a “spray park” on the property with no pool; and removing the pool and putting the property to different use.
The seven-acre pool property is located at 739 N. Main Street Ext. Town officials have been discussing its future in recent years because it annually needs repairs to fix cracking and other issues. Significantly fewer residents have used the pool in recent years, from about 5,300 pool tags sold in 2010 to about 1,960 sold last summer.
The draft survey also includes questions about future pool programs.
Feedback will be given to an architectural firm the town plans to hire to create designs for a new pool, said Parks and Recreation Director John Gawlak.
Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. said the impact of the survey on the eventual decision will depend on the number returned.
“...I just think the survey is an effort to let people know that obviously it will be an expensive project and give everyone a chance to weigh in on what they’d like to see, ” Dickinson said.
The town plans to mail the survey to residents with their monthly electric bill this year.
The Town Council gave feedback on the draft survey Tuesday to Gawlak and Parks and Recreation commissioner Dave Gelo. Councilors said they wanted to see the survey done electronically because tabulating potentially thousands of results from a paper survey will require a lot of time. Councilors also argued residents would be more likely to complete the survey electronically.
Dickinson said he supports a paper survey because it’s hard to verify the respondent is a town resident if it’s done electronically. Dickinson also said he didn’t want to “disenfranchise” residents without computer access.