Group forms to keep Watertown’s pools

wwny Group forms to keep Watertown’s pools

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - With construction underway on Watertown's Thompson Park pool, some lawmakers say the city might not be able to afford three pools. A group of residents doesn't want to see any of the pools get shut down.

Debbie Dermady is an outspoken supporter of having three pools in Watertown. This week she created a Facebook group called Make a Splash-Keep Three Pools in Watertown. It already has more than 100 members.

"When I see things not going positively for people who need it, I'm going to something about it," said Dermady.

Mayor Jeff Smith has talked about closing one of the older city pools and replacing it with a splash pad. Council Member Jesse Roshia also has said Watertown can't support three pools.

"Many of our familes can't afford to go to a cottage, they can't afford to go to the river or the ocean or the lake even. So they need a venue out they need to be able to go somewhere it's not going to really cost a lot of money," said Dermady.

City resident Mary Henry says she's all for three pools too. She joined the Facebook group. The Flynn Pool is named after her grandfather...

"I have no qualms about paying taxes for all the pools. I think it's great for the environment and you want Watertown to be a place of destination. As a child, we always, that was our entertainment for the summer to go to the Northside pool. Our parents and our grandparents, their taxes supported the pool so we should have it and I feel that we should continue to do that," said Henry.

Another member of the group is Kathy Lettiere who also grew up swimming in city pools.

"I think it's important that all three pools stay open. I just think that it's important for all children through the city to be able to go to any pool where they live, whatever is the closest so they can ride their bike to go to the pool," she said.

While Dermady says her crusade is mostly for the kids, she says the pools offer health benefits and bring the city together.

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