Ridgewood August 12, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES II • Page 3 New group asks for preservation of Graydon by John Koster The Ridgewood Council has heard from a newly formed group of residents who want to keep Graydon Pool as is, but with cleaner water and enhanced facilities, and the governing body may form a new committee to discuss renovation concepts before any plans are implemented. Members of the Preserve Graydon Coalition and other residents spoke at last week’s meeting to urge the council not to consider plans for a multi-pool concrete complex as the future of Graydon. Members cited aesthetics and the economy as reasons for a more conservative approach that would leave Graydon lake-like and more affordable. “You’re going to wind up with a white elephant at the corner of Linwood and Maple,” one man said. Another speaker, a woman with children, said she had originally signed the proposal to revitalize Graydon, but wished to withdraw her support because the changes proposed were now too extreme and too expensive. “I can’t afford $150 per child,” she said. “I do agree that improvements are needed, but not concrete.” “I think we have to respect both sides,” Mayor David Pfund told the large audience, most of them from the Preserve Graydon Coalition, many wearing four-color ID stickers that children passed out as adults and families entered the council chamber. “Let’s be respectful to both sides.” Members of the Ridgewood Pool Project had begun their initiative with a survey three years ago that pointed to water quality as the major reason for a decline in membership at Graydon Pool. Amenities more attractive to children and better refreshment services were also mentioned. An initial plan for a four-pool complex at a cost of $13.9 million was briskly sent back to the drawing board after some residents objected to the scope and cost of the project. Next, the Ridgewood Pool Project group introduced a plan engineered by a German company that is becoming increasingly popular in Europe. That plan called for two tandem pools with one used for swimming and the other as a matrix for hydronponic water plants whose root systems, with some mild aeration, produce pool water at or near potable quality and well within state standards for swimming. The present proposal from the Ridgewood Pool Project, cut down to $10 million, was endorsed by Ridgewood philanthropist David Bolger, who crunched the numbers and said that increased membership could probably defray the cost of the bond. Bolger was inaccurately cited as the instigator of the project in a blog, and has since threatened to sue the bloggers. Ridgewood officials confirmed that Bolger became involved only in the last two months, has no direct financial interest in the pool, and has not offered to subsidize it. One member of last week’s audience asked to hear what each council member thought about the plans. “We’re not going to engage in debate,” Mayor David Pfund said. “We’re here to listen to opinions.” Councilman Patrick Mancuso said he would support an initiative to form a group including two council members, and four members each from the Ridgewood Pool Project and the Preserve Graydon Coalition to discuss and negotiate any firm proposals for pool renovation before the plans were implemented. “Whether we go to Plan A or Plan B I leave you to decide,” one man said from the audience. “I don’t care which one you use, but I know Graydon is broke.” ESL tutor training available Fall training for volunteer ESL (English as a Second Language) tutors will take place Sept. 10, 17, and 24 and Oct. 1. Sessions will meet in Ridgewood Library’s Belcher Auditorium from 9 a.m. to noon. No prior teaching experience is required. For more information, call Jill Wright or Nancy Honsinger at (201) 670-5600, extension 141. The Ridgewood Public Library is located at 125 North Maple Avenue. ���������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������������� ���������� ������������������������� ����������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������ ������������������������� ���������� ���������������������� Summer specials available now for a limited time only. Call Robin at 973-636-7000 2 Locations Glen Rock & Passaic PASSAIC LOCATION NOW OPEN SUNDAYS! We Offer Line Of Credits And Financing Plans 201.345-5621