WALLINGFORD — Residents might have three more weeks to enjoy the Community Pool this summer after a motion to amend the mayor’s proposed 2019-20 budget passed Thursday night.
As part of the municipal budget process, the Town Council meets to make motions amending Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr.’s proposed budget. If the council does not adopt an amended budget at its meeting next week, the mayor's proposal goes into effect automatically.
At the meeting Thursday, Councilor Christopher Shortell proposed extending the pool’s upcoming season through Labor Day, which lands on Sept. 2 this year. The motion passed unanimously.
The pool is currently slated to open in mid-June and close Aug. 11. The motion would extend the season by 21 days at an estimated cost of $30,000. The extra days would require about $20,000 in staffing, $7,000 in pool chemicals and $3,000 in utilities.
Shortell said he arrived at the estimates based on questions asked during a budget hearing on April 25 and conversations with recently-departed Parks and Recreation Director John Gawlak and Public Works Superintendent Steven Palermo.
The extra cost would be covered without a tax increase by eliminating the proposed Town Council raise of $4,950, eliminating the dedicated Town Council phone line at $1,200, increasing the pool tag price by $5 for an additional $10,000 and transferring $13,850 from contingency.
The Town Council phone line rolls over to the Town Clerk’s office and is not staffed. Councilor Joseph Marrone has proposed eliminating it at past meetings.
The increase in pool tag prices is based on selling 2,000 passes. Shortell said the longer season may be an incentive to purchase the passes.
Councilor Gina Morgenstein proposed moving $1.7 million from the BOE repairs and maintenance line to a new line on government side of the budget, accessible for BOE use, for expenses incurred that don’t provide student education directly, but that motion failed to pass.