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North Castle Residents Debate Costs For ALE Pool

The ALE pool in Armonk.
The ALE pool in Armonk. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

ARMONK, N.Y. -- The cost for having North Castle take over management of the Anita Louise Ehrman Recreation Center's pool in Armonk drew a mix of reactions before the Town Board approved the deal on Wednesday.

Residents in support, including Town Board members, argued that even though a short-term deal to operate the pool costs more upfront, it was preferable to a long-term agreement that could potentially be even pricier.

Larry Luisi, a member of the town's Budget and Finance Advisory Committee, compared the deal to other options, such as purchasing outright or a longer lease. He also noted that pool attendance has been down, but said the town wants to lower the fees to encourage more people participate.

Supervisor Michael Schiliro said municipal pools generally do not make money. He tried to explain the benefit of offering a recreational service, drawing a comparison to a familiar amenity.

“It’s like another park," he said.

Some residents spoke against the proposal's cost. Projects mentioned during the meeting include a total cost of about $306,000, with revenue of roughly $157,000. The town's loss was pegged at $93,000, although that figure included North Castle's previous fee of about $55,000 that was given to use the pool for day camp.

Ann Dantzig criticized pool spending, arguing that the money would have been better used for road work. She repeatedly questioned officials about the cost.

Tony Futia, a perennial critic of town government, argued there won't be many North White Plains residents who use the pool. Futia, who lives in North White Plains, mentioned closer alternatives, such as Rocky Ledge and White Plains' pool.

Ed Lobermann was not happy about having taxpayer money pay for the pool and argued that only people who use the service should pay.

Neil Baumann, however, echoed an argument in favor of town management, saying that if there is no pool for the town's camp, revenues will go down. Matt Trainor, the town's superintendent of recreation and parks, told Baumann at the board meeting there was a $102,000 loss on the camp during a year when the pool was under construction.

Prior ALE pool coverage is available here.

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