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The Dansville Online
  • Stony Brook pool closed third straight year

  • Stony Brook State Park has had a public access swimming pool for generations, but that pool is  closed for the third year in a row, and hopes of reopening it in the near future looks grim.

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  • Stony Brook State Park has had a public access swimming pool for generations, but that pool is  closed for the third year in a row, and hopes of reopening it in the near future looks grim.
    Due to the park’s geological conditions, rains turn the water to murk. To remedy this, the pool has to be closed, drained and then the floor cleared out with a bulldozer.
    Other pools in the Finger Lakes region are bulldozed once per year, at the beginning of the season, but Stony Brook is unique in that it is the only pool in the region that needs to be closed, drained and bulldozed after almost every rain.
    The park’s on-site bulldozer broke down, and with budget cuts across the region in excess of $1 million over the past five years, New York State Parks Finger Lakes regional director Tim Joseph said that there just isn’t room in the budget for a new bulldozer.
    “We’ve sacrificed a lot of things,” Joseph said by phone a week ago Wednesday.
    Buying a new bulldozer would have to become a top priority, which he said is an expensive proposition, costing roughly $125,000.
    Last year the Stony Brook operating budget was $216,100, down 6 percent from 2007.  They also lost two out of four permanent staff members. Joseph explained in a follow-up email that permanent staff positions are not included as a money item in a park’s allocation because their salaries are paid out through the overall agency budget.
    This year the agency increased its allocation by $25,000 to $241,100 to help hire additional seasonal staff to fill the gap created by the loss of half  its permanent staff.  
    The additional money was at the expense of other parks in the region, Joseph also said, since the overall funding did not increase this year.?
    While Stony Brook is the only pool that has closed all season, pools in Seneca, Long Point and Buttermilk parks have reduced hours from daily to weekends.
    To bring those pools back into regular hours would consist of only hiring additional lifeguards. But for Stony Brook, “you can’t lifeguard something if you can’t see through the water.”
    Stony Brook would need to have this kind of treatment with more than a quarter inch of rain.
     

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