New Paltz uncertain if town pool will open on schedule

The Moriello Pool in New Paltz. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

Despite old issues being raised now, New Paltz Town Supervisor Neil Bettez remains optimistic that Moriello Pool will be ready for the season on time and with a new liner. Not all of his colleagues on the town council were equally optimistic at last Thursday’s meeting. Buildings and grounds supervisor Chris Marx would like to try to repair a leak that’s apparently been present for years, but has been difficult to diagnose. There’s evidence of a leaky pipe, he explained, but identifying exactly where the water’s coming from requires the pool to be fully pressurized. That would entail filling the pool with water the town buys from the village, and then emptying it again to enact repairs. Even if the cost was acceptable, repairing the leak now would push against blacktop season for Marx, who is also the town’s elected highway superintendent. Filling the pool is a two- or three-day process, and paving begins in less than two weeks.

An alternative Marx suggested would be to open a hole through which to monitor the situation during the upcoming season, and securely cover it until the pool was again closed and the repairs could be enacted. Whether or not that’s possible depends on county health officials approving the strategy.

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As for the liner itself, it will be installed per a signed contract once the surface is prepared. Much of that preliminary work has been done by employees under Marx’ supervision in an effort to save taxpayer dollars, but Bettez is hunting for a mason to perform the more specialized tasks. He’s been authorized to select one as soon as three bids have been received.

Council member Marty Irwin estimated that the pool might not be open until June 27, but Bettez later said the variables Irwin used were much more conservative than those provided by town engineers. Irwin imagined it may take as long as two weeks for the epoxy to cure, but Bettez was advised Friday that two days is a reasonable expectation.

Repair work delayed the pool’s opening last summer until July 2. The pool traditionally opens on Memorial Day weekend.

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