I've been getting many versions of one question as the heat escalates lately: where oh where is that Tarrytown Aquatic Center residents were once promised?
Good question, no real answer.
While Sleepy Hollow residents can pay a per diem rate (or shell out some for a membership) at the Mt. Pleasant pool, there is no such option for the sweaty folks of Tarrytown—narry a sprayground! And is pricey for most at over $1,000 a season.
Back in 2004 when was known as Ferry Landing and big things on the waterfront were first getting approved, there was the original document with a provision whereby the development would give Tarrytown an "aquatic and recreation center." That was February 28, 2004 to be exact, said Village Administrator Mike Blau. Then there was an amended agreement several years later: February 7, 2006, still with an aquatic/rec center in the agreement.
So it's there in writing and always has been but even now with the and the park off limits for the summer, there's no public pool as payoff. A few years down the road maybe? Blau couldn't estimate.
“We've had many many conversations about that along the way with Hudson Harbor and it's just a financial downturn situation,” Blau said. The development was slowed right along with the economy, but one wonders with the Carriage Houses now full steam ahead and a to the Stone Lodge in the fall, if there's any hope of getting this going.
Paul Janos, former Tarrytown Mayor, whose name is actually still on a sign in the Pierson Park parking lot from the 1980s, is the sales manger for the ever-growing development but he could not yet be reached for comment.
“We are waiting for some documentation from them and we'll sit down and talk again, with the pool being one of the items,” Blau said.
What the pool will be like or how it will be run or how much it would cost for residents to use is all too far down the road to think about now, said Blau. What we do know is that it's slated to sit where the recreation department now is. The offices there would move temporarily to the old police headquarters (on Franklin street) and move into the Aquatic Center building when it's complete. The work would take about a year and a half, Blau estimated. The pool would be an indoor one, but one presumes there would at least be nice windows to enjoy the view. (By the way, there is a sprayground in the plans for the Pierson rehab underway, said Rec Director Joe Arduino.)
Meanwhile, Patch readers on Facebook are talking swimming options or the lack thereof:
As a Tarrytown resident, it doesn't matter how much I cough up. I can't go to the Mt. Pleasant Pool.. Greenburgh's pool in Ardsley on Ashford Avenue isn't available to village residents (only unincorporated parts of the town of Greenburgh can get access).. So that just leaves the county options. Really can't wait until we have an option for Tarrytown residents - even if it requires a nominal fee. $1,300+ membership to the Crest Pool doesn't count as nominal.
I remember when we swam at Kingsland Point Beach and park -- when the water was clean (before mfg companies polluted it with their waste). There was a raft to swim out to and always a beautiful lifeguard to watch over us and to flirt with! We had a big covered pavillion in the park with a juke box where we all congregated on summer evenings and socialized and danced. What wonderful times -what great memories. How many of you fished off yellow rocks? My dad taught me to cast and to bait my own hook!!! Magical times that formed wonderful lifetime memories.
And I can speak on behalf of my 95-year-old neighbor Helen Manca who fondly recalls swimming in the Hudson, floating garbage and all (she thinks it was dirtier then; I think Riverkeeper would agree). “We were kids,” she said. She is not on Facebook.
Things were different then, or maybe just people were.
Join the Facebook conversation on public swimming or its lack here or weigh in below in the comments.