Pave paradise, or put up a sprinkler park?

There's nothing better than splashing around and swimming in the Summertime, especially when you're a kid. We're lucky in Connecticut, we have an abundance of rivers, ponds, and a big ocean to swim in. Unluckily, if you live in one of Connecticut's urban areas, you're often limited to swimming pools.

Last night a Facebook, post by Neil O'Leary, the Mayor of my hometown of Waterbury, caught my attention. In it, O'Leary asked the residents of Waterbury for their input in regards to the long-term future of the pool at Hamilton Park. He then posed the questions: "Repair it? Replace it? Replace it with a Sprinkler Park? And then told us to weigh in by calling Waterbury's Citizen's Service Center at 311, or by sending an e-mail to citypools@waterburyct.org."

Well, the opinions started flowing in the Facebook comments. Glancing through, the majority of Waterbury residents seem to favor the Sprinkler Park option, with a couple of people pointing towards the Splash Park at Quassy in Middlebury as a role model. Some people called for both the pool to be renovated, and a Splash Park to be installed, citing the high tax rate as a motivator. Some even called for the complete shutdown of the facility, due to repeated vandalism, and the high cost of trying to maintain it in the face of such apathy.

I have to admit, the only time that I've heard anything about the Hamilton Park pool over the past couple of decades is that it was shut down repeatedly because some mouth-breathers threw their empty 40's over the fence, and the broken glass made it into the pool.

What do you think? There are wonderful community pools throughout Connecticut, is that area of Waterbury just not the place for it? Should there be a waterslide installed between the 7 Angels Theater and the pool? A lazy river that runs from Hamilton Park thru the Brass Mill Center Mall parking lot? Let Mayor O'Leary know about it, call 311, or send your opinion to citypools@waterburyct.org.

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