CARTHAGE After reviewing last years swimming program report submitted by the village of West Carthage and the YMCA, the River Area Council of Governments has agreed to help fund swim lessons again this year.
Last summer, the twin villages swimming facility was closed for 12 days because of health concerns stemming from leech infestation in the pond on Route 45.
Board member Scott M. Burto, West Carthages mayor, said he will contact the state Department of Health on how to deal with the matter.
The report indicated the facility operated for 43 days with afternoon and evening hours. The facility employed five lifeguards, with three always on duty. On average, the facility was used by 18 swimmers/beachgoers per session at a cumulative cost of $12,561.95.
Its a pretty good turnout. We just need to address the damn leech problem, said board member Terry L. Buckley, town of Champion supervisor.
Mr. Burto said this was the first leech problem since the pool reopened in 2006. The longtime swimming hole was created by damming a creek from Pleasant Lake. It closed in 2002 because of decreased water flow from the lake and concerns about waterborne diseases.
Mr. Burto said last year the village did not dredge the entire channel, as it had done previously. That could have left vegetation to feed the leeches.
The board also agreed to allow the facilitys use for camping by visiting fire department members for the upcoming Northern New York Firemens Convention, hosted by the West Carthage Fire Department. Such use requires insurance coverage.
The board approved funding for swimming lessons provided by the YMCA at Carthage Central High School. Last year, RACOG provided lessons for eligible children at a cost of $19 per member and $38 per nonmember. Thirty-one members and 48 nonmembers participated for a total cost of $2,413.