All About Armonk

North Castle Daily News

Polite Open Discourse

November 15, 2014
Stories about the perils and accomplishments of our town residents include those of our government officials. Many of the topics that appear on allaboutarmonk.com are controversial. We have allowed the public to comment on certain stories, adding to the civil discourse. All comments will be considered, but allaboutarmonk.com reserves the right to not publish comments that are personal attacks. Simply put, comment on the content, not the person writing it. Comments seen here may not reflect the views of allaboutarmonk.com. 

No soliciting, please.

Michelle Boyle

Ehrman Pool Under Water Again/Ehrman Pool Still in a Deep Freeze

11 comments | Add a New Comment
1. Al | January 14, 2015 at 10:56 AM EST

I have lived in town about 5 years now and we have not signed up for the pool as fees are too high compared to other town pools. If the next owners or management want the pool to succeed you need to reduce the costs so middle income families in Armonk can join as well.

2. ELSBERN | January 22, 2015 at 10:55 AM EST

It would be a terrible shame if the Ehrman pool were to be lost to the town's residents. I no longer use the pool having joined an indoor facility for year round swimming, but when my children were younger it was a favorite place in town. I always wondered why it wasn't owned and operated by the town. Most of our neighboring towns have \\\town pools\\\ that charge small fees to residents who want to join. It seemed like a feasible option. Maybe the proliferation of private pools and clubs has detracted from Ehrman but in its newly renovated state it is really quite nice and the residents deserve a community recreational facility like it. The town should consider taking steps to save it for the residents.

3. Armonk Member | February 21, 2015 at 04:34 PM EST

To see such an amazing place, not functioning in our town would be a tremendous loss to our friends, our community, our neighbors and especially our children and the town camp! As a member of Armonk for over 25 years, watching my children grow up in this pool, I have many fond memories of long summer days well spent here, and to go without it would be devastating. I truly hope as a community we can come together and support the pool as we have in the past. Many thanks to Joseph DiMauro for all that he has done in the past few years, because without him and his family's support the pool would not have been running. Lets hope we can have many more wonderful memories to come!

4. Ann Rabinowitz Dantzig | February 22, 2015 at 05:38 PM EST

The Town of North Castle (TNC) should not take over the management and/or ownership of Anita Louise Ehrman (ALE) pool. The Town should not be in the business of making individuals whole for making bad loans. The Town should not be bailing out failed businesses.

ALE is a long established non-profit, run by dedicated volunteers who, regrettably, made some poor development and business decisions to the point that ALE could no longer function with normal membership bonds and revenue. To its rescue came many individuals who loaned it money. When that wasn't enough, North Castle Poola and Tennis, LLC (NCPT), was established by Joe DiMauro, chairman of North Castle Parks and Recreation (NCPR) Advisory Board, in his private capacity. According to All About Armonk, \\\DiMauro has leased the club from ALE.\\\

For three years, NCPT ran the pool on borrowed money. Revenue has not been enough to pay back the individual loans and bank mortgage, pay expenses, and start a savings plan for future repairs and capital improvements. The business model did not work, it failed for many reasons.

Now, The Town is in a bind. The town runs a summer camp that every year needs to pay a pool facility to let the campers swim. Historically, the pool facility has been ALE. The relationship between the pool and the Town has become entrenched and emotional, so much so that the pool is erroneously referred to as, \\\The Town Pool.\\\ Currently, the Town is looking for a pool to use for this summer. Now, at this late date in the negotiating cycle, the Town is considering taking over the management and/or ownership of a failed business or risk not having ALE for camper swim. The Town is being held hostage by a small group of people who want to keep ALE functioning and be the pool of choice for the Town summer camp program and a low membership fee pool for others.

The Town should not, in any way, shape or form, take over the management and/or ownership of the pool for many reasons. It would grow the size of Town Government; The pool is a complicated and costly bit of infrastructure that will need constant repair, maintenance, and on occasion huge capital infusion for upgrades; If the current revenue, from whatever business model is used to run the pool is not sufficient to cover expenses, taxpayer money will be used to subsidize the pool facility.

The Supervisor has stated that he would consider taking over the management of teh pool for a couple of years as a, \\\test drive.\\\ The implication is that he doesn't know if such a venture would break even, make a profit, or need propping up from the taxpayers. He would be forcing the taxpayers to take a financial risk on a business that has failed.

Who buys failed businesses? People who think they can run the business better. People who think they will get some return on their investment and are willing to put their own money at risk. People who are willing to give their own money and don't care if they see a return or not.

I do not support putting taxpayer money towards this endeavor for the benefit of having a convenient place for some to swim and gather.

Thank you.

5. Brendan Molloy | February 23, 2015 at 09:28 PM EST

There had been 240 pool members and it dropped to 140. Many have pools, but where did the 100 go? The membership fee for a family is up to $1,200 now, which is just too much, in my opinion. I am still paying it, but it's definitely at a point that makes everyone think twice. I know that people are going to Lifetime now instead. I think the rate needs to come down, so I'm trying to see if we can get people back with a lower rate. Current membership was at 140 per a recent article. $1,200 * 140 = $168k. If we get 210, the same money is made. But, there is a (legitimate) concern that if the town takes it, taxes will go up. So, I want to see if we can get to 400. It's a stretch, but if we can get more members by lowering the rate, it's a good start.

6. Michelle Boyle | February 24, 2015 at 03:10 PM EST

The Town Board has the following item on the agenda of its Wednesday February 25 meeting: Consider rejection of bid for swimming pool rental for summer camp.

Although out of the scope of this agenda item, I'd like to see the Town Board address the issue of the ruling process if the Town is considering to license Ehrman Pool from ALE or NCPT.

7. Ann Rabinowitz Dantzig | February 24, 2015 at 04:18 PM EST

Joe DiMauro posted on Armonk Moms Face Book:

Joseph DiMauro Just so eveyone understand my position, the Town has expressed their desire to run the pool and if they are willing to pay the necessary lease cost to cover the mortgage, this would be a great outcome for all of us. Matt Trainor who is the supervisor for Parks and Recreation Department, has a wealth of knowledge and experience in running community pools.

I hope the Town Board is willing to share answers to the following:

1. What exactly does \run the pool\ mean?

2. Who are they going to lease from, ALE or NCPT?

3. What are the dates of the lease, from when to when?

4. What is the cost of the lease?

5. What is the lease payment going to cover?

6. What is the monthly mortgage payment?

8. Is Matt Trainor going to run the pool, and how much of his time is going to be devoted to this?

8. Mike | February 25, 2015 at 11:45 AM EST

The Town should audit exactly what renovations were done and at what costs , and what else needs to be done. I \heard \over $ 3 million was put into the pool and the renovations were done by the ALE and the locker rooms are still in need of renovation..? If that's true Something about the renovations and the $$ just doesn't sound right. I would imagine that there would be new leadership on the ALE board.

9. Long time Resident | February 26, 2015 at 07:53 PM EST

When I was younger and the Ehrman Pool was brand new, it was marvelous for nearly a third of the town. In my case, it might have seemed illogical that with a father that was a CEO we joined the pool and swam with kids we knew from school and from Camp Chippewa. But not every well-to-do family belonged to the many fancy Country Clubs back then, nor do they now. If you lived in Windmill or Usonia they had neighborhood lakes/ pool for the family kids to swim in during 4-5 months. I am much older now and had my children go through the North Castle school system and I often counseled them that they would be surrounded by kids richer than them and kids poorer then they, but it was one community even as it kept gentrifying more each decade from the 1960s through the 2000s. There are several town services used by a minority or a fraction of the taxpayers that more broadly shoulder the overall cost. Many are skewed to certain neighborhoods but politicians want those votes from that area of town. Some are broadly valuable such as the school system and the library system, but even those are not utilized directly by over 50% of the taxpayers. There are some community services like the Senior Center, Ehrman Pool, the two Libraries and others that make North Castle a community.

If you as a potentially beleaguered North Castle taxpayer do not want a community pool that could reach 15-20% of the children -- well, congratulations let's become a small Greenwich where the rich do well and not the so-rich, well, you're on your own finding a neighbor kid to invite you to their pool once every week or so. If you want Armonk, Banksville, and North White to be very frugal and neglect kids not as well off as your kids -- let ALE go down completely. No one has to bail out the prior company, as bankruptcy and other avenues exist for a town to eventually take over a valuable town service that a private company does not.

If Ehrman Pool disappears, the Town Board should be ashamed of being such elitists that only well-to-do family kids that belong to Country Clubs, Lake Clubs, or have Neighborhood/ Association pools can know they will wake up on a hot summer morning and think with glee that they are going swimming that day.

Guess some taxpayers would paraphrase Marie Antoinette and say. \Let them swim in their bathtubs!\.

10. Lin | March 02, 2015 at 11:21 AM EST

As a long time Armonk resident the Ehrman Pool was more welcoming to all families. Our daughter attended the town camp and learned to swim at the Ehrman Pool. Now as seniors we feel the membership fee is too high and the current NCPT management does not want to talk to us nor return our calls requesting consideration for seniors. In the past, the Ehrman Pool encouraged seniors to participate and the membership was free.

11. Ann Rabinowitz Dantzig | March 27, 2015 at 07:36 AM EDT

Anticipated Revenue: $157,000

Anticipated Expenses: -$306,000

Anticipated Loss/Cost:-$149,000

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