Bethlehem residents dive into pool options before town board

Karen Tararache
Updated: November 27, 2019 01:46 PM
Created: November 26, 2019 11:51 PM

BETHLEHEM -  "If there's a pool and you want to show off since you might know how to dive you might want to do that," a young boy said.

"If the diving ever comes back, I want to try to dive," a young girl said.


One by one more than a dozen Bethlehem residents spoke at Tuesday night's town board meeting in support of saving the dive tank.

"There aren't other opportunities or places that Bethlehem residents can go to learn to dive," one resident said. 

"It's often the opportunity for senior citizens to have a sense of entertainment," another added. 

"Sometimes I'm on line with people my height or taller and sometimes with kids like this but it's a multi-generational thing," another resident said.

We first told you about the town's plan to explore a double slide option instead of saving the dive pool last Wednesday.

A petition started by Stephanie Dwyer garnered more than 1,800 signatures over three days in support of the 45-year-old structure. By Friday, town officials decided to reopen the discussion for two months.

"We already did a survey. So I hear a lot about let's do a new survey, let's get new evidence. In the academic world we call this p-hacking where you constantly change parameters until you get the answer you want. You already did your survey and you found out that 68 percent of the town wants to rebuild it at any cost," resident James McGaughan said.

"People want to know what's going on. They want transparency was a word we heard a lot. They want to be seeing these bids. They want to know what the costs are so that they can fairly compare the two options," Stephanie Dwyer said.

And while many expressed strong support for continuing tradition, resident Emily Field -- a mother of three with one child who has special needs -- said just because something has always been doesn't mean it needs to always be.

"At this point in time, Addie is not able to swim in a pool like her brother at this age. It may be a number of years before she will learn that skill. A slide option would be fun for all of us. Ask your kids, what do they want?" Field said.

An engineer presented that the slide pool would require two lifeguards and children would have to be at least four feet tall to use it. The board voted to approve further design work on both the dive and slide options, so they can later be put out to bid.

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