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Litchfield Country Club: Pool closing jolts sense of community
By Jason Lesley
Residents of Litchfield Country Club are upset over a decision to remove their community swimming pool. Equipment is in place to begin demolishing the concrete pool and deck early next week.
Amanda Keith, a member of the Litchfield Country Club Property Owners Association, said she and other board members were told Monday night that the club’s owner, National Golf Management, was shutting down the pool.
“There’s nothing we can do,” Keith said. “It’s part of a bigger plan. They said the pool was not bringing in enough money and needed repair, so they’re scrapping it. Everybody is concerned about property values and the disconnect between the country club and members.”
Fred Vegliante, president of the Litchfield Country Club POA, said the pool is a big part of summer recreation for families with children. “There’s not much we can do about it,” he said. “They claimed it would cost about $50,000 to fix.”
Keith and her husband, Wil, are parents of two young children and bought a house in the country club neighborhood because of its pool after he was hired as rector of Holy Cross-Faith Memorial Episcopal Church.
“This neighborhood is more of a community with the pool and the country club,” Keith said. The Keiths and other families paid a yearly fee to swim at the pool, but it wasn’t collected this year.
Steve Mays, vice president of marketing and sales for National Golf Management, said too few members used the pool to justify the repairs.
“The facility was in need of major repair and renovation, even to open this year,” he said. “National Golf Management determined it was better use of the club’s dollars to invest in the golf course and facilities instead of the pool. What it came down to was that we wanted to make sure we were investing where the majority of the members were spending their time.”
The move comes at a time when some are concerned about plans to shift the club entrance south on Highway 17 to Litchfield Village, where there is a traffic light. Losing the landscaped entrance would harm community identity, residents say.