Budget cuts could impact Plainfield town pool - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Budget cuts could impact Plainfield town pool

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Budget cuts could impact Plainfield's town pool (WFSB) Budget cuts could impact Plainfield's town pool (WFSB)
PLAINFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

Town leaders in many municipalities are busy eliminating programs and slicing budgets because many anticipate huge cutbacks from the state.

Under Gov. Dannel Malloy's proposed budget, Plainfield will have to make up $1.5 million above what's proposed in the town's $11.6 million spending plan.

The century-old community pool in the basement of Plainfield Town Hall may be one of the victims of the town's budget cuts.

They'd eliminate fireworks, cut the daycare subsidy, and eliminate the town pool, which would upset many like Renee Messier of Killingly.

She said the pool is a therapeutic asset for her, and is vital to her health.

"It will be devastating having to go somewhere else. I mean this is very affordable,” Messier said.

The pool is a luxury that town leaders said they can’t afford.

Heating it and running the pumps 24/7 costs tens of thousands of dollars a year, and now it needs a new dehumidifier to replace a 30-year-old one at a cost of $100,000.

When asked what the town needs from the state, Finance Director Kelly Vachon said “We need the teacher's pension to come back. The $1.6 million to come back to the town of Plainfield. That would help dramatically."

Also on the chopping block is the $65,000 subsidy the town provides to help for daycare operations at the senior center complex. Increased costs haven't been passed on to families.

Any of these cuts are preliminary. Closing the pool would save the town $117,000 a year, a drain on finances users say should be plugged.

"It’s a nice feature that we have here at the town hall. It’s kind of sad to see it go,” said Steven Brown, who uses the pool.

According to the town charter, the budget goes to a public hearing next Monday, and then a referendum May 15, before a state budget is finalized.

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