Friday, May 11, 2012
By WILLIAM J. KEMBLE
ROSENDALE, N.Y. — Hudson River Valley Resorts’ offer to host fundraisers for the repair of the town pool is being welcomed by some as a kind gesture, but others see it as an attempt by the developer to curry favor amid its attempt to secure zoning changes for its planned resort at Williams Lake.
The developer also is proposing a lease-based partnership with the town under which patrons of the Rosendale pool would be able to swim in Williams Lake this summer.
“The first ... option for us was to see if we could replicate, as close as possible, the programming of the pool at the lake,” resort project manager Tim Allred said at a Rosendale Town Board meeting on Wednesday. He noted, though, that “the capacity is not really there (at the lake) to make the full programming shift, and a lot of the programs have already found homes.”
Town officials announced in March that the 280,000-gallon outdoor pool, which is at the Rosendale Recreation Center on state Route 32, would be closed this summer because of damage to its lining.
Rosendale Councilman Robert Ryan said the resort developer’s proposal could help divert people from dangerous swimming areas while the pool is closed.
“It’s going to be a safety net because it’s going to keep teenage kids from ... swimming ... in places they’re not supposed to be, and we’re not going to hear about accidents or deaths or people being seriously injured,” Ryan said.
Councilwoman Manna Jo Greene said she has “concerns about the timing” of Hudson River Valley Resorts’ offer.
“HRVR has an application in front of the Planning Board,” she said. “If it (the swimming proposal) were down the road, this would be an extremely generous offer. (But) I do have concern that an applicant is offering to partner with the town while an application is pending.”
Hudson River Valley Resorts is asking the town to approve a zoning change for the 779-acre former William Lake Resort property that would allow construction of a resort hotel and 154 housing units.
Jennifer Metzger, a member of the town Environmental Commission, wondered whether town officials would have a conflict of interest if they participated in pool-related fundraisers at Williams Lake.
As for Rosendale pool patrons using Williams Lake, she said: “I’m glad to hear there would be a lease. Any donation from an applicant jeopardizes the Town Board’s decision-making on the zoning amendment.”