Wichita City Council members on Tuesday approved an $18 million, wide-ranging Aquatics Master Plan that will close all but three of the city’s pools.
Councilman Bryan Frye put forth the amended proposal, which keeps open Aley, College Hill and Harvest pools. It will convert six other city pools into splash pads, and install splash pads at Harrison and Planeview parks. Minisa pool will close and be replaced with an unspecified amenity.
Several Wichita residents spoke in favor of a different option that would have kept open five pools. Frye said the city’s pools aren’t generating enough revenue.
“Our pools are old, tired and worn out," he said. "Except for College Hill pool, all of our pools are 35 years or older, and we’re losing hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.”
Lavonta Williams voted against Frye’s option. She raised concerns that the McAdams neighborhood will lose its pool this year.
“I'm still looking at the fact that a pool is closing earlier than it was scheduled to close and nothing around it is open until 2020," she said. "And I can't support it because I can't see the equity in it."
She asked for more time to work on the master plan.
“I just hope that we’re able to find a little bit more patience and just a little bit more talking in order to see if we’re doing the best thing that we can for the city," she said.
Vice Mayor Janet Miller also voted against the plan. She suggested keeping open College Hill pool and putting four other pools in neighborhoods with high rates of poverty.
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