Waterville has been my home for most of my life, and having grown up here, I have very fond memories of swimming at the Alfond Municipal Pool. This was the place that I, and all of my siblings, learned to swim. It’s where we spent countless hours during the summer months. I’m deeply sadden to find that some on the City Council haven’t the foresight to see that by denying the funds needed to repair our North Street Pool they are actually denying hundreds more children the opportunities that I and so many others have enjoyed over the years.

Everyone should learn to swim. Kids also need a safe place to go during the summer months when parents are working. Our pool program checks both of those boxes. Shouldn’t there be a place for families to swim who may not be fortunate enough to own a lakeside property?

A few years back I was the director of a performing arts program at Camp Manitou in Oakland. One morning, while running errands with the owner’s wife, we passed the Alfond Municipal Pool. Mesmerized, she asked “What is this place?” Proudly, I shared the Alfond’s story. Beaming, she told me that though she hadn’t seen the facility before today, she had signed up her two youngest children online for the pool program. She explained that Manitou’s Teen Programs were too grown up for her little ones. Camp Manitou could not fill this need, but we the city of Waterville could.

Think hard before you bring the gavel down on this vote. It provides jobs, raises revenue for our city, attracts business to the Alfond Center and the ice cream parlor, and above all else it speaks to the value we place on the lives of our young people.

Kathy Brown
Waterville


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