To The Editor:
As I read The Missourian on a regular basis I am greatly concerned with information obtained about the possibility of closing the city’s public pool. I just cannot believe it!
I would urge anyone who wants to have a public swimming pool to contact Mayor Lucy and your city council member and voice your concerns. For a community the size of the city of Washington to not have a public pool is unimaginable.
Evidently there is an investigative committee to discuss next year’s city budget and various capital projects of which Diane Jones is a member. I read where she stated that she thought it was awfully expensive to have something that costs so much to only be used two months of the year.
The next few statements are directed to Mayor Lucy, our city council, other city officials and members of this investigative committee. Public swimming pools are used for recreational activities, such as informal swimming, pool parties and various group activities. Swimming pools are important facilities for exercises, such as swimming laps and water aerobics. Pools provide opportunities for educational purposes, swimming lessons, lifeguard training, swim teams and various competitions. Pools also serve the needs of folks who have medical conditions and/or injuries. Pools offer a means of social interaction, relaxation and stress relief. Having an ADA-sanctioned pool also helps those folks with special needs and asthmatics. Pools have the ability to bring diverse groups of people together. A lot of Olympic swimming stars got their start at a local public pool.
Perhaps there are those who think Washington is an affluent community and we all can just go to private pools or country clubs. I beg to differ. When I read statistics such as Franklin County’s free and reduced lunch percentage it’s well over 50 percent. That tells me we are not affluent.
Has the Town and Country Fair Board been informed about the possibility of closing the pool? The pool is a big part of the Fair experience. I would also think our real estate values would be lowered if we were to have a community without a pool. The city pool is an asset and a showpiece of Washington.
I just wonder if Mayor Lucy and city council members have been to the swimming pool lately to see how many people go to the pool. Especially after a hot summer like we just had. The children and young mothers of Washington love their pool.
Rumor has it that the pool is to be eliminated and replaced with a sculpture park. I can’t believe the people of Washington would want to go wander around a sculpture park when it’s hotter than you know what! They would much rather go splash around in the pool.
Once again, I urge those concerned about the pool issue to contact the mayor and city council. If you don’t voice your concern they may go behind closed doors and do it. That’s what they do in politics. When they think no one cares or no one is looking they go into executive session and make decisions.