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No Easy Answer to Cheshire Pool Bubble Dilemma

Insurance will likely pay to have the collapsed bubble fixed, but should it be replaced?

With the bubble over the Cheshire Community Pool once again deflated and damaged, some think it's time to ditch it altogether and put up a permanent structure that won't be susceptible to the weather.

But for now, the town is waiting on reports from its insurance adjusters and the bubble manufacturers, according to Town Manager Michael Milone.

"Right now we are gathering information," he said this week. "The insurance adjusters are out there assessing the situation and once we get all of the information back from the adjusters we will present it to the council and see how we will proceed."

With the amount of snow that fell, there was no way to have kept the bubble from collapsing, Milone said. Aquatics Director Sheila Adams was on the phone with the manufacturer during the storm and they had hoped to keep the pressure and temperature up enough to keep it from collapsing, he said, but "in the end, the weight of the snow was too heavy to keep it from coming down."

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Right now it's too early to think about alternative options such as constructing a permanent structure over the pool, he said. The focus now is the repair the bubble to get the pool open again.

"We expect the company to pay the entire cost like it did last time," he said, referring to when in January of 2011 the bubble also collapsed from the weight of the snow from the numerous storms that season saw.

It will be at least another week before the insurance adjusters submit their report, Milone said. "They are still in information gathering mode," he said. "There is still a lot of work to do before they get back to us."

And at Wednesday's Town Council meeting, Chairman Tim Slocum also urged patience, according to the New Haven Register. The council won't be making any rash decision regarding the bubble's future, he said.

Slocum did not return calls seeking comment.

But on the Cheshire Facebook page, residents are clearly getting frustrated with the reoccurring problems with the bubble.

"Make it a year round enclosed pool," Kathy Maloney wrote.

"I vote permanent structure," Amy Bourdon Rydzy said. "There's so many committed citizens to this pool... It's really just a matter of planning and financing. I believe that those residents that value the pool will fight the hardest for it. We are all just waiting for the "What now?"

There is even an online petition urging the town to build a permanent structure around the pool that by Thursday night had garnered 47 signatures towards a goal of 1,000.

Others doubt the town has the financial will to commit to a permanent enclosure.

"They'll never put a permanent structure - the multi millions it would cost - no way," said Jean Ketcher- Gillotti. "If anything, make it a summer only facility. Not enough people use it through the winter to facilitate a $20 million dollar investment."

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Edward Fast Lazarus February 22, 2013 at 01:15 AM
If it comprehensive plan is put forth to develop and effectivey market programs that allows the pool to becomes self sufficient then it is perfectly ok for a bubble or a permanent fixture.to be installed. In the current economic environment to continue to pump more and more money into a facility that is indeed an asset, but not an absolute necessity does not seem like a reasonable course of action. The energy being spent to argue the pros and cons could best be used in developing a strategies for the pool to increase its revenues. If that is impossible than I would suggest the failure of the bubble is only one issue that should be addressed. Edward Lazarus Ed@branforct.com
paticia February 22, 2013 at 01:44 AM
I for one, believe that the cost of building and maintaining this structure should be poaid soley by those who use it. It is not a necessity and not planned for the sole use by children. The adults who support the idea should support the project. Admission could be a requirement that would amortize that expense. Do not place the burden of the cost for this project on people who have no use for it. It is a LUXURY! It is not a necessity.
paticia February 22, 2013 at 01:51 AM
Right by the community? and then send them the bill? What kind of a gift is that? Especially when many of the recipients cannot use it! I have several other uses for that money, and no use for the pool. That is why I buried my 18x36 many years ago. It was a liability for people and a death trap for animals. There are indoor pools available in our area for use with a nominal fee.
paticia February 22, 2013 at 01:56 AM
We have survived as a community for all these years without a community pool. We have the Y pool to use if we want to swim in a pool --- and Mixville, in the summer. Spend some money upgrading that place and see our dollars well spent. We have that lovely park, which would benefit from having a few more dollars spent on it, but if we spread ourselves too thin, we will have a little bit here and a little bit there-----.
paticia February 22, 2013 at 01:57 AM
We have been offered use of the Cheshire Academy pool, as well.

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