Letter to City Council Feb. 9, 2015

We issued this statement to Alexandria City Council in advance of the February 9 budget discussions focusing on the “Healthy and Thriving Residents” priorities. We at the Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics (AAA) hope that your new year is off to a good start. While the upcoming year holds much promise, it also holds many challenges. Multiple important initiatives will require your attention, which often translates into difficult funding decisions.

With newspaper articles and letters cropping up on various capital projects, we want to take this opportunity to re-iterate our support for the 50-meter pool at Chinquapin. The City’s consultants are working on the cost/benefit analysis of the new pool and will soon be providing important information to you to help in decision-making.

We want to remind you that the disastrous pool situation that we as a City faced in 2014 was a result of ignoring capital needs. The City Manager had recommended eliminating virtually all capital funding for pools – a veritable death knell for swimming in the City. You had the collective wisdom to counteract that with new funding identified for specific pool projects, highlighted by the 50-meter pool at Chinquapin. You understood what a poor state the pools had fallen into, at the same time that demand for aquatic recreation was growing significantly.

We are close to the realization of a significant improvement in Alexandria aquatics. You have created the opportunity to provide a long-term solution to a major deficiency in Alexandria. The consultant has stated that the current indoor pool only meets 20% of its demand. The other unfulfilled 80 % can only be met by expanding facilities. We ask that you continue to strongly support the 50-meter pool at Chinquapin. We underscore that request with our commitment to continue working with you and the City to make this a reality.

Thank you for your consideration.

William Rivers

Chair, Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics

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