NM pool future uncertain

BY STACI WILSON

The status and future of the New Milford pool is in question. “It could be the last operating year,” Council President Ken Carey warned of the financially daunting work required to keep the public swimming place open another season.

Carey reported at the Thursday, July 1, meeting that a new vacuum was ready for use and work was progressing on the steps. He also noted that enough funds remained from a grant to either purchase a cover for the pool or a filtration system – but not both. Each costs about $6,500, Carey said.

Carey advocated for the purchase of the pool cover. For the past 12 years, he has been cleaning out the pool to get it ready for summer. “I don’t know how many more years I have left of shoveling snakes, frogs and leaves out of there,” he said.

But those repairs and upgrades only scratch the surface of the pool needs. Council discussed fixing the concrete surround in the spring of 2015; but the concrete walls of the pool also need to be replaced
Carey will bring a detailed list of plans to fix the pool to the August council meeting. He estimated that the borough would need $25,000-$35,000 to address the repair needs.

The New Milford pool was built in the 1950s and remodeled in the 1980s. With 30 years between the installation and major overhaul, “It’s due,” Mayor Scott Smith said.

In the past, council members noted the community rallied around keeping the pool open. Council said the community may be needed to show its support for the pool again or face closing it.

Kelsey Wages, junior councilmember and lifeguard, said the pool has been very busy this season with an average of 20 or more people using it each day.

Water from a different source continues to cause concern in the borough.

Run-off from a Peck Hill Road property continues to cause flooding problems on the New Milford Borough roadway and on private property all the way to the bottom of Montrose Street, according to members of the council.

In recent heavy rainstorms, water was shooting out over a stone wall and possibly causing damage to some private property as well as borough infrastructure. The road itself is being compromised, according to council, and stone used to reinforce ditches last year has been washed out.

Council discussed several options at the Thursday, July 17 meeting, including paving the top of the roadway. Councilman Larry White said that would alleviate some of the debris that washes into the road but cause water to run down the street “twice as fast” and possibly causing more problems for neighboring homeowners.

Councilwoman Barb James suggested having an engineer evaluate the situation and provide recommendations.
Council said the issues first began on the street when a culvert that used to divert water flow to a creek was either removed or compromised. Councilman Rick Ainey said he could see the borough joining in a legal suit if one was brought by neighboring property owners.

A natural gas vendor expo will be held August 4, 6-8 p.m., at the New Milford United Methodist Church on Pratt St. Ainey said this will be a chance for residents to meet with technicians regarding possible conversions to natural gas, as well as sign commitment letters to hook up to the service.

If enough New Milford area customers sign on, Leatherstocking will begin drawing up construction plans in the fall and has proposed to begin installing lines next year.