By Alexa Epitropoulos | [email protected]
Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics has terminated its partnership with the city following the city’s decision to cut funding for a project planned for the Chinquapin Recreation Center.
The public-private partnership would have seen the city invest $20 million in the installation of a 50-meter indoor pool at Chinquapin, toward which AAA planned to contribute $2.5 million in private sector funds.
AAA notified the city on May 19, citing both the funding decision and the failure of the city to communicate with the nonprofit about the status of the project. The nonprofit said the failure to communicate began with City Manager Mark Jinks’ announcement in November 2016 that the project was being put “on hold.” As a result, the previously approved $4.5 million in funds for the project, which were part of the FY2017 budget, were not released.
City council declined to take action after Jinks’ announcement.
“The decision by the city manager to pause the work on the 50-meter pool at Chinquapin was a complete surprise,” Melynda Wilcox, the incoming chair of AAA, said in a news release. “For over four years we operated in good faith with the city. Yet we never received a satisfactory explanation as to why the 50-meter pool was ‘paused’ while numerous other projects around the city went forward as planned.”