The Woodbury Town Board has approved a $3.5 million bond to replace the John P. Burke Memorial Pool in Central Valley, a project that could see the swimming area reopen in time for next summer.
Residents have until Oct. 19 to file a petition to bring the matter to a public vote or referendum.
The town will not put the project out to bid until that decision is known.
Town Supervisor Frank Palermo said the board plans to budget $131,000 next year for the first annual payment on a 15-year bond to pay for the pool work.
Palermo said the decision has been in the works for a while. The town knew the pool was leaking last year, but Palermo asked “Can we get another year?”
That bought time for the town to hire engineer John Petroccione, who reported how extensively the pool was leaking, and then to develop plans for its replacement.
At 11,400 square feet, the new pool would be one-fourth the size of the existing pool. Palermo said the remaining area would be filled in and seeded with grass.
To offset leaking, the new pool would be made of steel-reinforced concrete rather than asphalt.
At its peak, as many as 12,000 to 14,000 people sought refuge from the heat or simply an afternoon of cool, cool fun during the two-to-three month summer season. And while there were days when as many as 500 people used the Burke Memorial Pool, daily use was about 200 to 300 people, the supervisor said.
Palermo acknowledged that few towns have municipal pools such as Woobury. “The pool means a lot to people,” he said. “And on those very hot days this year, we opened early so people could come down.”
The supervisor said that after Monday’s public hearing on the proposal, he and Deputy Supervisor Jacqueline Hernandez made revisions to the pool’s design based on what they heard from the public.
The Central Valley Pool was renamed the for former town Supervisor John Burke in 2015.
- Bob Quinn