Sales of Passes, Attendance at Waveny Pool Hit 3-Year High

Passes sold for Waveny Pool, overall attendance and revenues all ticked up to three-year highs in the season just ended, officials said last week. Total attendance reached 40,059 during the Memorial-Day-to-Labor-Day season, including a record-high 7,644 nonresident visits, according to data presented to the Parks & Recreation Commission during its regular meeting. “We had a very good season,” Recreation Director Steve Benko told the Commission during the Sept. 11 meeting at Town Hall. 

“The weather cooperated,” he added. “We had a couple of weekends with a little bit of rain, but it was a very good season.”

Here’s a snapshot of attendance going back to 2014:

 

Owned and operated by the town with costs offset by sales of passes to local and area residents, the self-sustaining Waveny Pool long has been one envy of neighboring Darien and is widely seen as one of New Canaan’s most successful endeavors.

‘Taking Some Action’: Town Officials Move Forward with Proposal for Surveillance Cameras at Waveny Entrances

Following an online petition signed by more than 2,000 people, and acting on the advice of police, town officials said this week that they’re looking to install cameras to record motor vehicles entering and exiting Waveny Park. 

Parks and Public Works officials said during a subcommittee meeting Tuesday that the cost of installation might be around $25,000, for which they would likely request a special appropriation. The main purpose of the cameras will be to “show visibility of activity coming in and out of our parks,” Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Rona Siegel said during a meeting of the appointed body’s Camera Subcommittee. The two-person subcommittee, which also includes Parks Commissioner Matt Konspore, discussed potential locations for the cameras, focusing on the three entrances to the park—one on South Avenue and two on Lapham Road, including near the Waveny Pool. “It would just be an extension of cameras at the entrances – not throughout the park,” Siegel said during the meeting, held at Town Hall. Those in attendance included Siegel and Konspore as well as Recreation Director Steve Benko, Public Works Director Tiger Mann and Parks Superintendent John Howe.

Parks Officials Address Unusual Algae Problem at Waveny Pool

Parks officials said last week that they opened Waveny Pool last month while battling a rare problem with algae that had made its water unclear. Fluctuating temperatures in May contributed toward an algae growth that “I have only seen once in 18 years,” according to Recreation Director Steve Benko. Addressing a question raised by Parks & Recreation Commissioner Sally Campbell at the group’s June 12 meeting, Benko said workers spent time hand-vacuuming the bottom of the popular pool to rid it of algae that “affected our water quality.”

“I think we have it back to balance, we treated it,” Benko said said at the regular meeting, held in Town Hall. Asked by Campbell whether he talked to those who oversee other large-pool facilities when such problems arise, Benko said yes and added, “This is the first time that we have had this issue.”

“It’s a matter of trial and error, what works, I did put in some algaecide on Monday [June 10],” he said. Campbell said she went swimming on the day of the meeting “and it was 100% better than it was.”

“But it still has a little ways to go,” she said.

Selectmen Approve New Slate of Fees for 2019 Waveny Pool Passes

The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday unanimously approved a new slate of fees for the Waveny Pool. While rates for season passes will hold at $455 for New Canaan families, the out-of-town rate will increase $25 to $1,225 for nonresident families, under the new slate. As in years past, a total of 100 nonresident family passes will be sold following a lottery. 

Here’s a look at the fees:

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kit Devereaux and Nick Williams voted in favor of the slate during their regular Board meeting, held at Town Hall. Recreation Director Steve Benko said one change to pool passes will be that a 10-ticket book of guest cards will be sold to residents for $80 versus a 15-ticket book, because it appeared at the end of the 2018 season that most people who purchased the book did not use all 15 tickets. 

The town-owned, self-sustaining Waveny Pool is open each year from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Williams called the pool “a great story” and said Benko and Parks & Recreation Commission Chair Sally Campbell “deserve a lot of credit” for coming to the town with a plan to put it on firm financial footing.