Watertown council vote seals the fate of Alteri Pool

Alteri Pool vote

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - In a 3 to 2 vote, the final decision was made. The city of Watertown will be filling in the Alteri Pool.

Mayor Jeff Smith spoke out about the resolution prior to the vote, saying flatly, Watertown does not need three pools.

“This is about five and 10 years down the road,” he said. “This is financial planning. This is what business owners have to do, they have to plan for the future. The easy political decision is to vote to keep three pools open, kick the can down the road, and say someone in 10 years can figure it out.”

Council member Jesse Roshia added that while the decision was hard to make, it needed to be made -- and soon.

“It’s hard for some of our community members to swallow and I get that,” Roshia said, “but the reality is, if we don’t close it today, we’ll be looking to close it next year, or the year after, or the year after.”

Council member Lisa Ruggiero, who wants to wait before filling in the pool, discussed concerns she and some citizens have.

“I’ve gotten the phone calls that you all have,” Ruggiero said. “One email was in support of keeping the pool close, everyone else was in favor of keeping it and waiting until sales tax came back, money came back to at least keep it.”

People rally before Tuesday's city council meeting in support of keeping the Alteri Pool open.
People rally before Tuesday's city council meeting in support of keeping the Alteri Pool open. (Source: WWNY)

Before the meeting, members of “Make A Splash - Keep Three Pools in Watertown” rallied to save the pool for one last time.

“You know we’ve worked over two years to keep three pools in the city,” Debbie Dermady said. “I guess this is it. Unfortunately, I think they’ve probably already made their decision. It’s really too bad.”

It isn’t clear at this time when the pool will be filled in, but Smith says the cheapest option would cost around $30,000.

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