New ideas for an old pool surface in Watertown

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 5:42 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - As the future of Flynn pool on the city’s north side remains in deep water, some members of the Watertown City Council are floating other ideas for extending the pool’s use year round.

“The conversation about having three pools has always been that each of those pools serves each of the communities that they’re in,” said council member Cliff Olney.

“Having something that’s enclosed on the north side would add that much more so other people from the other parts of the city would also see themselves going there.”

The idea of enclosing Flynn pool for year round use is one that Watertown Mayor Jeff Smith says the city has already tried once.

“There has been an enclosed Olympic-size swimming pool in the past in Watertown at Massey Street where the fire station was. It was not successful and was actually torn down. So, I think we should learn from those mistakes,” Smith said.

An independent contractor determined last month that it would cost more than $4 million dollars to repair the Flynn pool, which is now closed. It’s a cost that some on the council believe is worth it for the residents of the north side.

“At least if we had something to offer our residents, a lot of them can’t afford a membership to go somewhere or and pay to go swimming. Or pay to use other facilities, so it maybe something to look at as a benefit to people living here,” said council member Lisa Ruggiero.

And even if a pool is not the answer, members of the council do believe a recreational attraction on the north side is needed.

“I think it would be much more smarter to construct a recreational asset there that is different than anything else that we have in the city, and that would essentially provide a bigger bang for you buck,” said council member Sarah Compo Pierce.

The enclosure was not the only idea the council had as a way to extend the swimming season for city residents.

“One of the items that I asked the city to investigate was a heating system for the pools. I can see all the way into September or October time frame if we had the ability to heat the water,” said council member Patrick Hickey.

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