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Rosendale pool shut down this summer

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Albany/HV: Rosendale pool shut down this summer
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When the temperatures soar this summer, the Rosendale pool won't be offering any relief. Town officials shuttered the pool due to a surprising number of cracks and breaks in the pool liner, popping up over the winter. Our John Wagner has more.

ROSENDALE, N.Y. -- "It was a shock to see how the deterioration was beyond in-house repair, where our maintenance men would do the patching," said Tara Burke, the Town of Rosendale recreation director.

This summer it will be hot, it will be humid and coming to the Rosendale pool won't cool you off.

"We have a problem with losing water, we have a problem with the pool falling apart, because it's gummite, it's a sharp thing," said Burke.

"We weren't going to try to rush through a patch work that maybe wouldn't keep people safe, so the decision was made that safety had to come first," said Jeanne Walsh, town supervisor for Rosendale.

The news that the pool won't open this summer is heartbreaking for the 300 swimmers that jump into the pool each day. It's the highlight of summer daycamps and the host to swim lessons, swim teams. And thanks to its handicap accessible ramp, it offers rehab for seniors and kids with special needs, like those at Brookside School.

"For the little kids, I mean, we can throw some baby pools out in the yard, but it's still not the same," said Marcene Johnson, the director of educational services for Brookside School. "Going to the pool is an exciting part of their day."

"I've seen those children lifted out of wheelchairs and into this pool and it goes from a face of blah to joy, sheer joy, and I'm going to miss seeing it," said Burke.

Only 6,300 residents live in the Town of Rosendale. And with no other public pools nearby, this one is a big draw, getting 20,000 visits a season.

"We weren't going to be able to afford, in time or money, a repair for this pool this season," said Burke. "So we're on plan B, we're looking to the future for a new pool or a refurbished pool."

Rosendale would like to refurbish, costing around $300,000 to $400,000. They plan to pay for the project through a number of fundraisers and grants and possibly a bond issue.

"Swimming is physical education for us in the summer," said Johnson, explaining how more than one hundred special needs kids ages three to five get their exercise. "I'm certainly hoping that they can pull it together and this is just a one season deal, because I don't know what we're going to do long term."

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