With an average yearly traffic of 30 to 40 thousand visitors each year, Moriello Pool is getting a facelift that will benefit a large portion of the community.
Receiving a $75,000 grant from State Senator John Bonacic through the State and Municipal Facilities Capital Program, the Town of New Paltz has gone ahead and contracted Renosys Inc. to replace the pool liner of both the main pool and the wading pool. The renovation will cost a total of $125,000, meaning that 60 percent of the expenses will be covered by the State. The remaining $50,000 will be divvied up between the Town and the Village.
This project was selected by the Town Board among a list of various other opportunities and submitted to Bonacic.
Town Supervisor Neil Bettez explained that the board is usually approached by the senator about which projects are in need of funding; the board requests one in the hopes of it being approved because the funds aren’t always guaranteed.
“Moriello Pool serves such a big part of the community. A lot of people use it so this definitely took precedence,” Bettez said. “While the amount of visitors is directly related to the weather, the pool does serve many people in the area who do not have access to a pool otherwise.”
Typically, the Town aims to open the pool on weekends by March 31 and full time by the beginning of June. Due to complications involving the liner last year, the pool did not open on weekends until mid-June.
“The last time the liner was put in was around 15 years ago,” Bettez said. “From my understanding, the life expectancy of a pool liner is around 10 to 12 years, so this project is slightly overdue.”
With the added combination of sunlight and chemicals, pool liners continue to break down. Bettez explained that because outdoor pools are only utilized a few months out of the year, they last a little longer. Luckily, Bettez also mentioned that the personnel in charge of maintenance of the pool has been doing it for over 10 years, believing that the pool is in more than good hands.
Bettez also cited the pool as a resource for seasonal occupation to many young adults in town.
“Every year we hire 20 to 30 lifeguards to keep watch at the pool. We’ve really adopted a more cutting edge way of streamlining lifeguards, and so far, we haven’t experienced any injuries,” Bettez said.
Rather than having one guard remain at a post for an entire shift, the lifeguards at Moriello Pool have stations, consistently changing post every 20 minutes.
“It is very easy to get complacent if you are sitting in the same spot all day and this is not a job you want approached with complacency,” Bettez said. “It is important to stay focused, which is why they are given short intervals to remain attentive.”
The Town anticipates the newly renovated pool to open Memorial Weekend 2017.
Another project the Town is prioritizing for this year is the reconstruction of the Rail Trail bridge.