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(UPDATED) Cheshire Pool Closed - Again - After Bubble Collapses Under Snow

The town's community pool will be closed indefinitely after collapsing under the weight of the weight of more than 26 inches of snow that fell Friday into Saturday.

The February blizzard has many in town digging out and dreaming of warmer weather, but after snow caused the bubble over the Cheshire Community Pool to collapse late Friday, there will be no reprievefor town residents locally.

Friday's snowstorm brought heavy snows and winds that created an uneven drift, Cheshire Town Officials said, bringing down the bubble with a gigantic tear and exposing the inside of the community pool to the elements of the storm. The area is currently cordoned off to prevent visitors from entering the area.

Officials were unable to provide any details on the extent of the damage Saturday morning. Multiple residents stated that the bubble had extensive damage including a tear that measured as much as 40 feet.

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Over the past three years, the bubble has been plagued with issues. Snow collapsed the facility in January 2011 as several storms mounted snow and ice on top and the structure was unable to hold the sheer weight.

Elected officials mulled over whether to replace the facility before ultimately deciding by a 7-2 vote in August 2011 to have the bubble repaired. Tom Ruocco and James Sima voting against the approval which allowed the council agreed to accept just over $284,000 in insurance reimbursements to replace the inflatable bubble that collapsed during a January snow storm

"We made a decent and fair settlement (with the insurance company); we will be made whole," Council Chairman Tim Slocum said in August 2012. "There is no expectation this will happen overnight. It will be the end of November for the completed structure."

In repairing the bubble, the council also voted unanimously to use nearly $127,800 from it's capital, non-recurring account to pay for a new energy efficient blower which inflates the bubble. The funding also covered costs of peripheral items such as a tarp system, snow sensor and utility hook-ups.

But despite reopening last year, the bubble went down again in September during a storm and the snow sensor was unable to detect the quick weight caused by more than two feet of snow overnight. It was repaired and had been functioning without issue until Friday afternoon.

There has been no indication by officials Saturday as to whether the bubble is repairable or a new bubble would be necessary.

Should the town look to repair the bubble or with the constant issues in recent years, is it now time to go in a new direction? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Editor's Note:
The start time of the article, 1:26 p.m., was changed to allow it to hit the morning newsletters.

Christopher Pagliaro February 17, 2013 at 05:03 PM
The town council is going to control the weather, now?
Christopher Pagliaro February 18, 2013 at 12:08 AM
Well said, John
Betsy Jasiorkowski February 19, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Hind sight doesn't work unless it helps you make good decisions going forward. In the wake of a difficult economic situation, Cheshire has been making a lot of "penny wise and pound foolish" mistakes in recent years. This is what is making our community less attractive. The pool is a good idea. If it's going to have year round use, do it right with a proven hard structure and state of the art technology! Otherwise, make it a summer pool only. But whatever we do, DO IT RIGHT. This doesn't have to be an emotional decision. In fact, none of the decisions on how we spend our tax money to improve or upgrade our community should be emotional. Betsy Jasiorkowski
BC February 26, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Whom has some real stats on what is the total operating cost? What is the total income that actually goes back to the town? How many residents use this money pit and why do we have to pay a ridiculous membership to use it. Putting a hard structure over this pool would be wrong. For me I'd like to be able to feel the heat from sun and a nice breeze. Covering is no a option. Summer only this no new cover.
Tatyana March 17, 2013 at 04:38 AM
We are using the pool a lot, our family almost live there. My questions are: 1. Why they are asking for 7 millions for the permanent structure? Did anyone asked for the tender? I think the price is ridiculous. 7 mlns for the pool cover??? 2. How many of the Cheshire residents came to vote for the pool coverage? I saw only few elderly people there and no explanation of the price to anyone at all... 3. Did anyone think about using the simple laws of physics during the winter storms? The pool needs a stronger structure and a system to control outside air pressure. Why not to use the other pools with bubbles experience? Feel that town authorities' decisions are very poor in that case.

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