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The City Council voted this week to keep Bicentennial Pool closed for the summer as the city assesses what repairs are needed.

A Change.org petition is asking Santa Fe city officials to invest funds for repairs at the now-shuttered Bicentennial Pool.

The petition, which had more than 220 signatures Tuesday evening, contends the city should ditch any potential plan to permanently close the 45-year-old pool, which is in need repairs to prevent leaks.

According to a city memo, the pool, if in use, would leak about 130,000 gallons of water a month. The City Council recently voted to keep Bicentennial, the city’s only outdoor pool, closed for the summer swim season until a comprehensive cost analysis could be provided.

City officials and members of the council have publicly talked about their desire for a cost-benefit analysis surrounding the future of Bicentennial and to potentially explore options to build a pool on the southwest side of town. City Council District 3, which encompasses the area, is the only one without a city-owned pool.

City spokesman Dave Herndon wrote in an email while the council has already weighed the issue, heard public comment and voted on the matter, “leadership is always open to hearing from the public.”

“If a councilor wanted to support and introduce a resolution, they could,” Herndon added. “There will be plenty of opportunity going forward for public comment and engagement on the next steps for creating much-needed recreation facilities for Santa Fe families for decades to come.”

The city has three open pools at Genoveva Chavez Community Center, Salvador Perez Recreation Center and Fort Marcy Recreation Complex. City officials have stated there is only enough staffing to open three pools regardless of Bicentennial Pool’s fate.

Mayor Alan Webber recently said the city would explore additional pool options for the summer, including partnering with private pools across the city.

The online petition was created by Eva Eklund, who could not be reached for comment.

In the petition statement, Eklund described the pool as an important part of the community and deserves an investment.

“Families need a safe place to swim and to teach their children how to swim,” Eklund wrote. “Please sign the petition and tell the city that investing in the pool is investing in the people of Santa Fe.”

The city opened Bicentennial Pool in the mid-1970s, but according to city documents, the facility has not received a major renovation since.

Public Works Department Director Regina Wheeler recently said minor repairs, estimated to stop 20 percent of the leakage, had been completed. But the estimate has not yet been tested.

One commenter on the petition, Dana Johnson, wrote “every American city should provide outdoor pools.”

Another, Deborah Tolar, requested the city fix Bicentennial and explore building other outdoor pools.

“I’m signing because kids and adults need a pool,” Tolar wrote. “In fact, build another outdoor pool or two!, and then repair this one. It is no virtue to not have this type of recreation.”

(9) comments

Lola Whiter

Please share BUILD A SECOND OLYMPIC POOL IN SANTA FE

http://chng.it/PFwRgnt8Z8

Lola Whiter

It is clear that our rep can't handle anything in office. We have been asking them to build a second olympic pool and they don't listen to us. It means the Bicentennial will be the high topic for years without a solution. We can't vote for this people again if they are just defending themselves by saying that we have enough pools. I'm sure those saying that either don't have kids, or relatives living with them. I hope this change. The new development on NM-599 has enough space for a second olympic pool. They need to change their mindset NOW and wake-up from Covid because it's over...Let's move on to think that will make Santa Fe the best city for living.

Daniel Ortiz

This is just the latest example of a FAILURE of LEADERSHIP by Mayor Allen Webber and the City Council! The only reason this pool, the ONLY outdoor public pool in Santa Fe, is not open for summer is because it is Not a priority. After being cooped in for over a year due to Covid19 our children sorely needed this swimming pool to be open. Alan Webber has let down the children of Santa Fe, again!

Miquelita Hernandez

http://chng.it/XKhF7h54C4

Here is the link to the petition! Thanks for your help!

Paul Davis

I'm often willing to defend various administrations against the endless whining of commenters in these threads.

However, this is one of those issues that I think just reeks of complete incompetence. This pool, as I understand it, has been closed to the public since the COVID19 pandemic began. Why are we still waiting on a "comprehensive analysis"? Why was this period not used to diagnose the issues, come up with a plan, and implement it? What on earth has actually happened at Bicentennial over this period? Why?

Lynn k Allen

Pools are important for mental health especially during hot summers.

So... no plans for more Pools next year?? Good planning by the city...

Let people patch the pool for this summer!!! Support is there.

Dan Frazier

There would be more signatures if the sign-up process was simpler. I tried to sign, but I don't know if I succeeded. If the City really cared about what citizens think, it would host its own petition site for local petitions like this.

Stefanie Beninato

Why would this petition go to the governor as indicated by Wm Craig's link? Maybe citizens should be better informed as to what governmental entity controls what in Santa Fe so they could be more effective. I wonder how many of these protestors actually use the pools. It would be more practical and within the realm of the possible IMHO to petition to get the kiddie pool at Chavez opened without sacrificing more lap swim hours there. PS Showers and locker room at Bicentennial (called the Alto St pool) need major updating and enclosure if the city wants to extend the use of the outdoor pool beyond three months.

William Craig

https://www.change.org/p/michelle-lujan-grisham-bicentennial-pool-save-the-only-outdoor-public-pool-in-santa-fe is the full URL.

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