The North Hempstead Town Board unanimously voted Tuesday to authorize the town to take out a $12.89 million bond for renovations of the Clinton G. Martin Park pool in New Hyde Park.
Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said that the town would not secure the bond until receiving input from residents on the proposed renovations.
“This is just the authorization to bond,” Bosworth said. “It doesn’t mean that we’re going out to bond the money, it just gives us the authorization.”
Town officials, architects and engineers presented a nearly $15 million plan to revamp the pool deck and replace infrastructure to more than 150 people last Tuesday at Clinton G. Martin Park.
The plan would resurface the deck and adjacent eating area with concrete pavers, install plants and water spray features, add 6,000 square feet of shade canopies, move and update the kiddie pool, and add space for concerts and public events, said architect Jeremy Linzee of the Patchogue-based firm bld architecture.
The pool itself would get a new vinyl lining but would not be moved or otherwise altered, a priority for a committee of seven residents who advised planners on the project.
The men’s and women’s locker rooms would be consolidated in the eastern pool building to create space for a meeting room in the north building, which would be insulated and air-conditioned for year-round use, said engineer Bob Holzmacher of the Ronkonkoma-based firm J.R. Holzmacher engineering. The park’s tennis courts would also be resurfaced, he said.
The project would replace the pool’s aging pumps, pipes and electrical system, which town workers are “keeping … together with glue and duct tape,” New Hyde Park civic activist and committee member Marianna Wohlgemuth said.
Paul DiMaria, the town’s commissioner of public works, said at Tuesday’s board meeting that they are expecting construction to take about 12 to 14 months, which will see the pool closed during the summer season of 2017.
Susan McClellan, a Manhasset Hills resident, urged the board to wait until the end of summer next year to begin construction on the pool.
“What we’re being told, and this is on the basis of what the professionals are telling us, is they’re kind of keeping their fingers crossed that the pool makes it through this season,” Bosworth said. “The likelihood of being able to limp along an additional summer is really unlikely.”
“We’re trying to do this so that the community has a pool for this summer,” she added.
The town-operated park district would borrow $12.89 million to fund the construction, which would eventually more than double residents’ park district property taxes over the 20-year borrowing period, town Director of Government Relations Steven Pollack said.
Taxes for a home worth $292,000 would rise from $24.50 to $35.43 in the first five years, then to $67 for the following 15 years, he said. A home worth $1.06 million would see increases from $99 to $143 and then to $270 over the same period.
The town will post information about the project on its website and collect feedback and conduct a survey over a 30-day comment period, Bosworth said.
Although all information regarding the renovation plans would be on the town’s website, residents said they were concerned that senior citizens who were not internet-savvy would not be able to learn details of the project.
Bosworth said the town would be sending the survey by direct mail to all residents within the park district to ensure that those who did not have access to the online version would still know what the project entails.
“Everybody will get the survey by snail mail, as they call it now, to their home so they’re aware they will have the opportunity to comment and we’re going to be making a decision based by the feedback that we get,” she said.