Officials weigh proposal to level 88-year-old Rye Playland pool

RYE, New York (WABC) -- Westchester County officials are weighing a proposal to level the 88-year-old public pool at Playland Park in Rye.

The proposal by County Executive Rob Astorino to fill in the pool, which dates back to the 1920s, would avoid a potentially costly plan to fix it.

Officials say 20,000 to 27,000 visits per season might not be enough to justify spending an estimated $8 million for renovations.

One idea in play is a dining patio overlooking Long Island Sound, with officials saying the spot would be an ideal place for restaurants and a catering facility because of the great view. That plan, though, would still cost more than $2.5 million.

"If we're going to try to turn Playland around, we have to get rid of the hold habits of losing propositions," Astorino said. "And it's not the only pool in town."

The county legislature will decide within weeks what to do with the pool, but the plan doesn't sit well for those who grew up with it as a mainstay.

Richard Senato is a grown man now, but he's been doing cannonballs into the pool since he was a kid.

"It's 15 minutes from the house, you've got a beautiful beach," he said. "You can't close Playland pool. It's history."

Critics add that is it low-income families that would suffer.

"These aren't the people who are at your private clubs out here, dotting the shoreline," Rye resident Art Tiedemann said. "These are the people who can't afford that. But they need a facility that they come, get out, get their kids, get them some exercise, give them some recreation."

A Board of Legislators Committee meeting is scheduled for Monday.
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