Woodstock’s town board continues to try to devise ways to open Big and Little Deep and provide a relief from the heat. “I just want to make sure we’re looking ahead and planning,” said councilman Richard Heppner at the July 21 meeting of the town board, Heppner has pushed for a reopening. “It would be a nice spot to cool off on a 95-degree day for people who don’t have access to a pool or can’t afford an air conditioner,” he said.
Councilman Lorin Rose said the town needs to provide a dumpster and port-a-potty or it will likely get trashed again. Rose noted the town goes out of its way for affluent white people but doesn’t provide enough opportunities for the disadvantaged.
Heppner said he’s looking at ways to leave a dumpster accessible to users, but not easy for people to dump their household trash in. At the same time, it needs to be reachable by a garbage truck.
Councilman Reggie Earls, who recently visited the sites, noted he was pleased with how clean they were now that they were closed. “There wasn’t any trash. It was beautiful,” he said. People should be able to enjoy the areas in a safe way.
Supervisor Bill McKenna suggested opening Big and Little Deeper a few weekdays as a trial to allow the locals access and see what happens. “It’s a beautiful spot, and I would like to see access to it,” Earls said.
Heppner addressed the makeshift barricades made from traffic cones and police tape. He suggested something more permanent, like a gate.
“That was the police department that did it out of frustration, I believe,” McKenna said. Officers were tired of seeing people go past the No Trespassing signs.
Still to be determined is whether the town can limit access to residents only or charge extra for nonresidents. Would a permit system be discriminatory? The town wants to discuss a plan with state officials that doesn’t require a lifeguard. Two years ago, the town board developed a permit system, but had to scrap it after state health officials said the town would then assume liability, triggering the lifeguard requirement.