WATERTOWN — Outgoing City Councilman Cody J. Horbacz said Monday that there’s no question that the controversial Thompson Park pool project will be completed.

Too much work on the $3.1 million pool and bathhouse project has already been completed, he said.

“I don’t think there was ever a chance it was not going to be done,” he said.

During this fall’s campaign, Mayor-elect Jeffrey M. Smith said he would try to stop the project if he could once he got into office.

However, the project is right about where it was expected to be at this point, City Engineer Michael DeLaney said.

“We’re moving forward with the pool as council directed,” he said.

Since the work began, the concrete has been poured for the pool’s floor and workers are now using shotcrete — the process of using a hose to spray concrete onto a surface — on its walls.

That work could be done before the Thanksgiving weekend holiday, Mr. DeLaney said.

Work on the bathhouse also has begun, with some excavation of the site completed. Pouring concrete for the bathhouse foundation footer and walls is scheduled for this week.

The general contractor, Con Tech Building Systems, Gouverneur, expects to have the shell of the bathhouse erected so work can progress through the winter, Mr. DeLaney said.

If the project continues to progress as expected, children should be frolicking in the pool in mid-July.

The pool became a major campaign issue this fall after council members Ryan Henry Wilkinson, Lisa A. Ruggiero and Horbacz didn’t have the four votes needed in August to bond for the project, so they approved using the controversial method of taking $2.9 million from the city’s fund balance.

Mr. Smith and council candidates Sarah V. Compo and Jesse CP Roshia ran on a team opposing the new pool and bathhouse because of its cost. All three won their races.

Meanwhile, Councilman Horbacz, who leaves office on Dec. 31, said after he lost the mayor’s race that it was more important for him to get the pool done than continue in city government.

While the Thompson Park pool is becoming a reality, the future of the city’s other two summer pools is in question.

Mayor-elect Smith has said the city doesn’t need three pools.

He will propose an evaluation of the two existing pools, one at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds and the other at North Elementary School, that the city operates during the summer.

Those two pools have needed some repairs in recent years. It also costs the city between $70,000 and $100,000 to staff and maintain the pools every summer.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(1) comment


The fiscally prudent thing would be to stay the course at this point. Perhaps Compo or Roshia can see that.

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