Mayor to city: Were listening

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To the editor:

This letter is in response to Mary Ann Sheltons letter to the editor regarding the pool hours at Charles Houston Recreation Center (A heat wave without a pool is just plain cruel, July 1, 2010). 

We agree with her assertion that having the neighborhood pool open on weekends, particularly during hot summer weather, is vital to the health and safety of our children and our community. The pool at the recreation center was classified as one of the citys mini-pools, which have long been closed on weekends. When the Charles Houston Recreation Center was rebuilt with a larger pool and staffing and programming expansion discussed, the issue of pool hours was never raised.

To correct this oversight, the city has authorized the opening of two mini-pools: The Memorial Pool at the Charles Houston Recreation Center, 901 Wythe St., and the John Ewald Pool, 4500 Duke St., on weekends beginning July 17 through Labor Day.  

The new weekend hours for the mini-pools will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays, through Labor Day. This will be a pilot program in which attendance and demand will be measured, and a decision will be made in the Fiscal Year 2012 budget process whether or not to continue these hours. 

Ms. Shelton, thank you for bringing your concerns about healthy and safe places for children to swim and play in Alexandria to our attention. In turn, my Council colleagues and I urge residents to speak up in the tradition of our caring community, and to be the eyes and ears of those who need our help. 

In working together, we will continue to make Alexandria one of the best places to live in the region and in the nation. Keep us informed. Were listening.

– William D. Euille
Mayor of Alexandria

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