Could 1943 deed save Watertown’s Alteri Pool?

WWNY Could 1943 deed save Watertown’s Alteri Pool?

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The plan to decommission Watertown’s Alteri Pool is moving too quickly for Lisa Ruggiero’s liking. The council member says she has discovered a deed that might slow it down.

Ruggiero doesn’t want the Alteri Pool to permanently close, nor does she like the fact that council is quickly figuring out how to fill it in.

On Friday, Ruggiero showed us a deed, the property records, dealing with Kostyk Field, a small park off Coffeen Street, a few blocks from Alteri Pool. The park is on land donated to Watertown in 1943 with stipulations.

“It states that the city would build a playground and a pool and maintain them. And it says if they failed to maintain them, that the land would revert to the Kostyk heirs,” said Ruggiero.

More digging needs to be done. There's nothing in the deed that talks about the Alteri Pool, just a pool at Kostyk Field.

But there is no pool at Kostyk Field and Ruggiero believes there must have been another agreement that would have allowed the city to move the pool to the fairgrounds.

It would honor the deed and it would keep the pool in the Sand Flats neighborhood.

“To me there’s no doubt in my mind that this pool is the pool tied to Kostyk Field. I know that there is more research being done and I hope there will be more information coming out,” said Ruggiero.

Asked about the deed at Friday's opening the new Thompson Park pool, Mayor Jeff Smith says he learned about it a while ago and thinks it's a moot point.

"I guess there always could be an agreement, but I am not aware of it. Nobody has brought it up," said Smith. "I think if it was out there, someone would have brought it up already."

Ruggiero is trying to do that by looking at city records and newspaper stories from decades ago.

"Some decisions made have consequences and we really need to research everything before we do something as drastic as this," she said.

Mayor Smith says he is waiting for City Attorney Bob Slye to give his opinion on the deed, but Smith doesn’t believe there is any merit to the argument that the deed pertains to the Alteri Pool, or that it would keep the city from closing it.

Copyright 2020 WWNY. All rights reserved.