WATERTOWN — While city lawmakers are at a financial standoff, the new pool project would appear to make a big splash with people who use Thompson Park.
In an unscientific survey, the majority of about 20 people — both young and old — who were enjoying the historic park on a pleasant summer Tuesday afternoon said they support replacing the 94-year-old pool and bathhouse.
Some were city residents who frequent the splash pad, others live outside of Watertown and visited the facility with residents who live here, and others remembered the Thompson Park pool as part of their childhoods.
On Monday night, city lawmakers were unable to resolve the standoff over financial issues with the pool project.
But William J. Flynn II, whose family has an important connection to the North Street Elementary School pool, said Tuesday the city should proceed with the $3.1 million pool and bathhouse project.
“I miss it,” he said about the old Thompson Park pool that closed after the 2013 season.
Mr. Flynn, who remembers going to the defunct pool as a kid with his friends, came to the park to watch three of his grandchildren play in the city’s splash pad.
He believes a lot of people would use the new pool if it were built.
“I think it would be a nice addition for the park,” he said.
In 1961, the city dedicated the North Street school in honor of his grandfather, William Flynn, who served on the City Council from 1946 until 1962.
With the temperatures hovering around 80 degrees on Tuesday, about 35 children — a smaller number than usual — were frolicking in the splash pad.
City residents Jenna Vitullo, 32, and her mother Jamie Pulp were joined by the young mother’s two daughters, Aurora, 9, and Opal, 3.
Both women swam at the pool as teens and both believe the city should spend the $3.1 million to replace the old one.
The Flynn pool and the Alteri pool at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds get too full of kids, so the third one is needed, Ms. Vitullo said.
“Why not spend the money?” Ms. Pulp said. “It doesn’t make sense.”
Oneonta resident Liea Formert understands why the city would not make that kind of an investment for a pool that would be used a few months of the year and cost a lot of money to maintain.
She insisted the $380,000 splash pad is a good alternative.
“This is an amazing cost-effective solution,” the grandmother said.
Watertown resident Julia Pomeroy was glad to bring her daughter Izabella, 8, to play in the splash pad. While she remembered swimming in the pool as a teen, she said the city cannot afford the pool.
“In the future,” she said. “Not right now. It would be nice but it’s not necessary.”
John and Marie Smith had their grandchildren up from Syracuse on Tuesday, so they took them to the splash pad.
With property on Pillar Point, they probably would never take them to the new pool, they said.
“It’s too dangerous in the pool,” Mr. Smith said.
Having to use public transportation, Nichole Parker said a new Thompson Park pool would be more convenient for her and children Ariana, 8, and Cameron, 6, than the other two city pools, she said.
“It would definitely be good for our family,” she said.
Copenhagen resident Sandi Dunn, 62, has followed the pool controversy closely. She hoped that council had approved the funding on Monday night.
She used the Thompson Park pool when she was a kid through the summer recreation program in her town. Sitting on a park bench while her grandchildren played on the playground, she said she’s an advocate of the new pool because children in poverty need more activities.
“What else are they going to spend the money on?” she said.
Mason Rumble, 12, was among five children who want the pool to be built.
“I know a lot of people who would use it,” he said.
Council members are expected to discuss the project further on Monday night.