At the June 23 Waterville City Council meeting, three councilors voted to subtract bond money that would repair and renovate the Alfond Municipal Pool this summer — despite its safety issues and it’s current closure from COVID-19.

When was the last time these individuals took a visit to the pool for a swim? Or took a visit to see the gutted walls and unsafe pool structure? The online pictures posted recently by Councilor Meg Smith tell a story of a 20-year-old pool that needs our help.

In a season of anxiety, I realize budget constraints are the norm, but I beg the council not to allow this community asset to be forgotten — as most area residents don’t have the luxury of pools, family camps, and lakeside transportation. My two daughters took their first swim lessons at the Alfond Municipal Pool, which they referred to as the “froggy pool” based on their favorite frog slide in the kiddie section.

They are in junior high now, but we still spent more than half of our summer days enjoying the city pool to cool down. We miss it tremendously. As a teacher, I’ve also enjoyed seeing my students over the years swimming with their friends or working as lifeguards. And I look forward to my own ride down the slides next summer.

The pool’s value shouldn’t be based in dollars because this facility attracts visitors to Waterville to spend money here (think gas stations, food stops, ice cream trips and more) and provides all families healthy, summer memories for years to come.

When councilors take their final vote on July 7, please vote on the side of families and #believeinWaterville! Thank you.

Dana Bushee

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