After months of discussion, the town of North Hempstead is finalizing a $13.6 million renovation for the pool at Clinton G. Martin Park that will close the pool for two years.
More than 150 residents attended a Tuesday meeting, where architects and town officials presented a revised plan that shaves $1.4 million from a $15 million proposal initially presented in June.
The new plan incorporated community suggestions from a June public meeting and community survey, Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said.
“It’s a process we’ve been moving through together,” Bosworth said. “Who better to know what the pool needs than the community?”
The plan is a hybrid version of two options presented in the survey: a $9 million proposal that would only improve the pool’s aging infrastructure and internal components, and a $15 million plan that would additionally create a new pool deck, facilities, tennis court and landscaping improvements, a pool slide, an expanded kiddie pool and more.
The town spent more than $8,000 for the survey, which was mailed to the 12,877 households in the New Hyde Park Special Park District, said Town spokeswoman Carole Trottere. The majority of the 1,717 respondents voted in favor of the $15 million plan, which includes a slide. However, in a separate question, nearly 60 percent of respondents voted against a slide.
The hybrid plan selected by the town is a scaled-back version of the $15 million plan which, notably, removes the slide. However, the town will install plumbing to allow a slide to be built in the future.
The slide has emerged as a contentious issue within the community. At Tuesday’s meeting, numerous residents supported constructing a slide, saying that it would help attract families with children to the pool, which has experienced a dwindling membership over the years.
“The kids need something to occupy them; we’re not giving the kids anything,” said Joshua Printz, of New Hyde Park. “It’s the same boring pool it was before. We need to do more.”
Residents also questioned the pace of construction, with some asking why the town wasn’t working faster on the project, and others voicing skepticism about the project’s completion date.
Plans call for the design to be finalized by February 2017, put out to bid in the fall of 2017, with construction to conclude in June 2018.
Bosworth said that the projected timeline was considered “carefully” and that potential delays have been accounted for.
The cost of the renovation will fall to park district residents. Property owners with a median home value of $412,400 will see their annual property taxes rise from $38.39 to $98.88.
In June, the town authorized $12.9 million in 15-year bonds for the project. Bosworth said the town will wait to assess the need for a second bond authorization after contracts have gone out for bid.