After pressure from the City Council to speed up renovation plans for Budlong Pool, Mayor Ken Hopkins has agreed to reduce the plans for renovation to just the pool and bathhouse which was announced …
After pressure from the City Council to speed up renovation plans for Budlong Pool, Mayor Ken Hopkins has agreed to reduce the plans for renovation to just the pool and bathhouse which was announced at the Public Works Committee meeting on March 16.
Councilwoman Aniece Germain, who has been a leading voice in moving this project forward, said she plans to put updates to the pool project on the committee’s docket every month to check in on progress.
The original renovation plans put forth by the mayor’s office included reducing the size of the pool, creating a splash pad for younger children and building a barbeque area. Those plans were originally estimated to cost approximately $7 million.
“The people need a pool, that’s all,” Germain said. “They need a pool to cool off. I remember last year how it was so hot. We know not everybody has the luxury to have a pass to go to Narragansett Bay. Not everyone has the transportation needed to go to another place where they can cool off.”
Germain said that she never forgets how many residents have told her, “This is where I learned to swim. This is where my children learned to swim.” Providing the people of Cranston access to the pool they’ve lost is just one way in which Germain said she is seeking to improve the lives of her constituents.
At last month’s city council meeting Germain asked Hopkins’ Chief of Staff Anthony Moretti how much it would cost to just repair the facilities if the plans for a splash pad and extra amenities were put aside. At the time there was no answer prepared as costs had only been estimated for the full project.
“The mayor has agreed with the will of the council in making the original project smaller,” said Director of Personnel Dan Parrillo. “So it’s going to be a pool house and a bathhouse for the original price of about $3.7 million. Next phase of the project is to go out to engineering, and he is meeting this week with Director Zidelis to identify where that money is going to come from.”
Parrillo said that the mayor listened to the council and the focus would be on the need for a bathouse and a pool and that the remaining plans for later phases of the project were being scrapped. He said that once the engineer has had a chance to overview the new scope of the project they will be better able to ascertain how this project will get done and how it can be done in the most cost prohibitive way.
“So as of now we don’t know where the $3.7 million will come from,” Germain asked?
“Correct,” Parrillo said. “I’m assuming some of it is going to be the ARPA money that (the council) has approved through a resolution, but again that hasn’t been finalized as of yet. The next important part is getting the plans to the engineer to get this project going so we can hit that goal of next summer.”
Parrillo said that the hope is for the plans to be in front of the city engineer sometime in the next few weeks so that the project can begin to move forward.
Council President Jessica Marino clarified matters by asking Parrillo to verify that in order for plans to move forward they must be approved by the planning commission and then proposed as part of the mayor’s budget as a capital expense within the capital operating budget. He confirmed that’s the procedure; meaning that before any further progress can be made in the actual renovation of the pool, expenditures necessary for said project must first be referred to engineering, move through the planning commission and then face final City Council approval.
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