WALLINGFORD — In a 5 to 4 vote, the Town Council upheld Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr.’s veto on funding for Community Pool Tuesday evening.
Dickinson exercised his veto power last week to reject an ordinance amendment, approved by a 6 to 3 vote of the Town Council on April 28, that appropriated $7.4 million and approved bonding to renovate Community Pool into a multi-use park.
A supermajority, or seven affirmative votes, is required in Wallingford to overturn a mayoral veto rather than a two-thirds majority.
“I really do hope there’s going to be an opportunity to proceed with the renovation,” Dickinson said Tuesday after the vote. “We need time to assess our revenues, what the economy will be like and what our revenues would look like over the next months, and then be able to make determinations of what can move forward and where we are financially.”
While councilors landed on both sides of the argument, no one said the town should abandon the pool project altogether.
Councilor Jason Zandri said that according to Comptroller Jim Bowes, the pool project would add about $25 per year to the median assessed homeowner’s tax bill.
Councilor Chris Shortell said he continues to be a big supporter of the project. The pool would increase the town’s debt service to around $6 million, but debt service would go down as older projects are paid off and come off the books.
Councilor Tom Laffin said he was still on the fence, but ultimately voted against overturning the veto. While he supports the project and voted for original ordinance, it’s bad timing, he said.
Councilor Craig Fishbein said he supports the pool and has bought pool passes, but there is “uncomfortability with certain aspects of project as proposed.”
Councilor Christina Tatta said she’s not looking at the merits of pool project anymore, but at discretionary spending at a time when economists are saying we’re heading into a depression.