2007-08-17 / Letters

Make Your Voices Heard About The Y Pool

Dear Editor,

Dear Editor,

Community Board 14 recently had a committee meeting regarding the building of the proposed YMCA, which is to be included in the development of the Arverne Urban Renewal Area. This meeting was reported on by the Wave. For the last 20 years, as the development of the Arverne area has progressed, the community, through the Community Board, has demanded that a recreation center with a state-of-the-art swimming pool be part of the development. This was one of the initial 17 requirements that the Board demanded in its conditional acceptance of the development of Arverne. During the meeting, the representative from the YMCA announced that the Y will have a four lane "lap" pool. Four lanes does not meet the needs of this community.

It was reported at the meeting that the Y would cost $14 million dollars to construct. It was also reported that it would cost another $2 to $3 million to expand the pool to eight lanes. I believe anyone with a background in competitive swimming in this community will agree that eight lanes would be a minimum to meet our needs. The Community Board needs to pressure the elected leadership to come up with the money to do this right. Four lanes is ridiculous. After the meeting I asked the representative from the Y: "If the community can come up with the extra $2 to $3 million dollars would the Y be interested in expanding the pool to eight lanes?" His response was: "Absolutely."

I would encourage my neighbors to make their voices heard to our elected officials and at the next Community Board meeting in September. Communities that don't ask for anything don't get anything. Now is the time to speak up so that the pool can be built properly to meet the needs of all those in the Rockaway community, not just some. KEVIN CALLAGHAN

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