Watertown pool attendance and opening a third pool

Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 5:50 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Watertown lawmakers say the numbers are telling - but for different reasons. So, do this past summer’s pool attendance numbers justify the cost of opening a third pool at a cost of $4 million?

Watertown Mayor Jeff Smith says the numbers paint a picture of what isn’t needed.

“The reality is, the city does not need three pools. Times have changed. It’s not the 1970s anymore. Pure mobility of people and kids today is much different than it was in the 70s,” he said.

Attendance for the Alteri and Thompson Park pools came in at more than 26,000 visits.

  • 21,252 at Thompson Park pool which opened Memorial Day weekend.
  • 5,075 at Alteri pool at the fairgrounds. It opened at the end of June.

Councilmember Lisa Ruggiero wants a third pool on the north side. To get it, a study estimated the city needs to spend $2.9 million to repair it or $4.1 million to fully replace it. Both options would also repair the bathhouse.

She says she’s very pleased by the numbers and says the number of people at the park pool alone shows the need for a third.

“Between me seeing it and getting pictures sent to me, I’ve heard people waiting in line to get in because they may have been close to the max number of people,” she said.

One set of data, two differing opinions about a third pool and whether $4 million of city taxpayer money should be spent.