While funding has already been approved for aquatics by the City Council last May, the City staff sought further direction from the City Council. It was clear what was being done for Chinquapin – a $500,000 feasibility study is being started with the anticipation of spending up to $20 million ($17.5 million from the City; $2.5 million from private funding) to build two new pools there. There was an additional amount of $ 5 million allocated to pools in 2018 and this is what City staff wanted to clarify. How should it be divided among Old Town, Warwick, and a therapy pool? Particular attention was needed on Warwick because it was scheduled to close this past season, but remained open due to the Council’s intervention. What would happen next year to it?
The Council held a legislative session on September 24th where a proposed Aquatic Master Plan was presented by City staff. In it, it was recommended that Warwick have a small outdoor pool similar to the one at Charles Houston. It was also recommended that the therapy pool be part of the new pools at Chinquapin rather than a separate one at the Lee Center. Old Town would receive two new pools and there should be future planning for a West End pool.
Prior to the session on the 24th, AAA submitted its own recommendations to City Council, which varied from the City’s:
- The Plan should set out the twin goals of improving the aquatic experience for all Alexandrians and providing all residents with the opportunity to learn how to swim.
- Endorse the continuation of the effort at Chinquapin.
- Approve a feasibility study as to what should be done at Warwick given the ground conditions.
- Endorse the principle that the $5 million in 2018 should be equitably allocated to the three remaining sites – Warwick, Old Town, and a therapy pool.
- Seek commitments from private sector groups to show their interest in working on the aquatics project.
The Mayor elected to defer a decision on the Master Plan at this time to allow for more work to be done between the City and other parties.
As a follow up to that, there will be a Park and Recreation Commission meeting on October 24th to hear about the Master Plan from City staff and then a public hearing by the Commission on November 21st to seek citizen comments on the proposed Master Plan.
All AAA members are encouraged to attend the November 21st public hearing.
AAA has submitted an application to the Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt status as a 501 c 3 non-profit. That application was submitted in July and usually takes 4 months for processing. However with the Government shutdown, we don’t know when the approval will be received. Once it is received, we will start our formal fund raising process.
Thanks to excellent recruiting efforts by Carolyn and Jeanne, we added over 50 new members who signed up during the September swimming period at Old Town.