With Connecticut leaders working to get the state’s finances in order, cuts in state aid were substantial for many communities.
This has resulted in positions and programs being eliminated and projects being put on hold.
In Wallingford, different cost-saving measures are being considered, as well: Not opening the town pool this season, or doing away with it entirely, perhaps.
A committee is discussing options for Community Pool, and will report back to Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. and the Town Council.
Ultimately, the fate of the pool likely will come down to dollars and cents. Dickinson said it costs the town about $140,000 to operate the pool each summer.
Also, the mayor said minor repairs needed to open the pool this year would, at the very least, cost “tens of thousands” more. The pool, located on North Main Street Extension, was last renovated in 1999.
Dickinson doesn’t believe the pool committee, which is comprised of Parks and Recreation commissioners and Parks and Recreation Director John Gawlak, will have a full report ready by the time the town adopts its 2018-19 budget in May.
“Until we adopt the budget, at this point. I have no idea” if the pool will open in June, Dickinson said. “It could be a monetary issue as well as a question of the condition of the pool.”
Also, Wallingford leaders certainly will look at how much use the pool is getting. The number of residents utilizing the pool has dropped significantly over the years.
In 2010, about 5,300 pool tags were sold. This past summer, 1,960 tags were sold.
If Wallingford’s Community Pool is closed, many residents will be disappointed.
The pool provides tag-holders inexpensive entertainment and a means to exercise and relax.
However, if the pool is to open as usual, the town will need to determine where those funds are coming from.
Wallingford officials have a difficult decision to make, and with the weather warming up, time is not on their side.