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Rarely has an 8-1 vote by the Cheshire Town Council been so acrimonious.
With only one dissent, the Council approved the $3.2 million tension membrane option proposed by the Pool Evaluation Committee earlier this month, officially sending it to referendum in November for the consideration of voters.
However, the meeting contained a lot of tense back-and-forth discussion about both the pool and other items on the Capital Budget agenda.
It began when Councilor James Sima proposed that the pool cover option be removed from the Capital Budget and consider on its own. That resulted in a restless audience, many of whom had come to show support for the tension membrane being moved forward. By a 6-3, party line vote, the Council chose to consider the cover by itself, meaning the Capital Budget went from 27 to 26 items.
Sima ended up being the lone "no" vote on the pool, suggesting that the tension membrane option was a less attractive alternative to the bubble that had covered the pool for years than the more expensive polycarbonate structure that had been considered. Sima insisted that the tension membrane would cost more to run per year. However, his fellow Councilors disagreed.
Discussion over the remaining Capital Budget was similarly hostile. Arguments broke over everything from request for an aerial truck by the Fire Department to a plan to build a modernized concession stand and bathrooms near the Maclary Athletic Complex.
For more on this story, see Thursday's Cheshire Herald.